An out-of-control tractor-trailer raises questions

Recently a big rig in Gilroy, California crashed into several cars on the corner of Ferguson Street and State Route 152 during rush hour. Nine people and a total of eight vehicles were involved. Investigators determined that the truck driver failed to stop at a red light. The tractor-trailer collided with the rear and sides of several cars on the westbound side of the street and then veered toward the eastbound side. One vehicle, a sedan, became entangled with the truck and was pushed onto the eastbound side. Both the sedan and the cab of the truck burst into flames. The driver of the sedan was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver suffered only minor injuries. Because of the burns, investigators were not able to initially identify the deceased sedan driver. Further examination identified the driver as a 65-year-old female from Gilroy.

Several factors could have contributed to the accident

Details have not been released that might explain the root causes of this horrific accident. However, the following may have been factors:

  • Driver distraction—The trucker could have been engaged in one or more activities that could have diverted his attention away from the road. Such activities could have using a cell phone, eating or drinking, adjusting the radio, reaching for an object, or simply looking elsewhere. Serious accidents are often caused when people are distracted, especially when large trucks are involved.
  • Speeding—If the truck driver was operating his vehicle above the posted speed limit, that would affect his ability to maneuver the truck, bring it to a stop or slow down before the impact.
  • Driver impairment—If the trucker was operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the substances could have clouded his judgment and attention.
  • Faulty vehicle maintenance—Many trucking accidents have been attributed to the lack of proper maintenance. Perhaps in a case such as this, the braking system did not perform properly.<
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    Other factors may have been involved in this accident as well. In trucking accidents, only a comprehensive investigation can identify all causes that lead to them. Generally personal injury attorneys bring a variety of professionals into the case. These include safety engineers, accident reconstructionists, and forensics specialists. Personal injury lawyers seek to fully understand the facts and then to prove negligence in their representation of accident victims. An attorney representing the sedan driver’s surviving family could bring a wrongful death case against the negligent parties which could include the trucker and the trucking company, among others, depending upon the specific facts in this case.

    If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a trucking accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of Bohn & Fletcher. We work to protect the rights of people in our communities and keep them safe.