Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on May 17th, 2014,
by Zane Cagle

Fallen Tailgate May be Cause of Fatal Crash On IL Route 140

Posted on May 17th, 2014 by Zane Cagle

Tailgate Falls Off A Foster Township Dump Truck, Results in Semi Colliding with SUV

The Madison County Coroner investigator pronounced the 52-year-old Hamel woman dead after she was involved in a car accident with a semi-truck carrying a load of milk on Illinois Route 140 north of Edwardsville.

Holiday Shores Fire Chief said they received a call around 10:30 a.m. for a motor vehicle accident involving an overturned semi truck and another vehicle.  Holiday Shores and Fosterburg fire departments and the Illinois State Police responded to the accident.

According to the driver of the semi-truck, the accident occurred when the tailgate of a Foster Township truck heading westbound fell off the truck and into the eastbound lane of Illinois Route 140.  The truck driver said his truck “bounced” over the tailgate and went sliding into the field north of the highway.  As the semi-truck went sliding, the truck rolled on top of the Hamel woman’s vehicle.

“I saw it was like a flash. Something coming off the back of his truck. It was close. There wasn’t any time to respond”, said the semi-truck driver, “The next thing I know it went under the steer tires of my truck and bounced me up and the next I know I was going off into the field and I was on my side”.

The truck was on its way to Dean’s Milk plant in O’Fallon, Illinois, at the time of the crash.  The Foster Township truck was coming back from dropping off discarded tires in Hamel, according to Foster Township supervisor.

Foster Township road commissioner said the 2007 truck model hasn’t had any previous issues with the tailgate and said that the township’s trucks get inspected regularly.  “We get them manually inspected. They are supposed to look them over before they leave”, said the commissioner.

The driver of the Foster Township truck declined comment and did not verify or deny inspection of the truck before he drove it.  There were other occupants of other vehicles that were transported to local hospitals with injuries, however, no information was released regarding their injuries.

The case remains under investigation by the Illinois State Police.

Equipment Failure

One of the questions I have after reading this article is, “why did the tailgate fall off the Foster Township truck? Was it possible equipment failure or failure to inspect and maintain the truck? Where all pre-trip inspections carried out by the appropriate personnel before the truck was put into use?  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s primary goal is to prevent

I would not want to speculate on whether the inspection was done in this particular situation. As a truck accident attorney, all too often I see the consequences and tragic results when “routine” inspections and maintenance are not performed.  Employees who inspect trucks, including drivers, are just like the rest of us—they are pressed for time and want to get the job done.  However, safety precautions and inspections can never be skipped or done in a hap hazard way.  A “little thing” that is overlooked or marked for later maintenance can in fact, create a tragic situation such as in a needless death.  If safety precautions were not followed and an accident results in someone’s death or serious injury, it can be considered “negligent”.

What Do You Do Following a Truck Accident?

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, seeking legal assistance is critical.   If you have lost a loved one, there are immediate c0ncerns that you must take care of right away and often, the family is operating in a state of shock.  The facts in the above accident are complicated by a possible malfunctioning vehicle.  If you were injured or lost a loved one, you will need legal representation from the investigation to the resolution.  Loss after such a traumatic event is frequently life changing and it is good to know that a professional is looking out for your best interests so that you can focus on the important people in your life. Call 1.800.685.3302 for a free consultation to get the information that you may need later. Information gathered during the investigation is important should you later need to file a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim.

You should not make any big decisions following such a traumatic incident.  Calling a personal injury attorney does not mean that you automatically going to court. Calling an attorney is just smart to look out for you regarding any legal aspects of such a life changing experience.

Grimm, N. Overturned Semi Truck on Illinois 140 Leaves One Dead. The Telegraph. 5/16/14

Fatal Chain of Events: Woman Killed After Milk Truck Overturns, Belleville News Democrat 5/15/14