Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on April 19th, 2012,
by Zane Cagle

Four Semi-Truck Crash on Interstate 80 Kills One

Posted on April 19th, 2012 by Zane Cagle

“It’s a mess”, said Powell of the Illinois State Police about a four semi-truck accident on Interstate 80, at mile post 102 in Illinois.  At 6:15 a.m. last Friday, Illinois State Police received a call about a three vehicle accident involving two passenger cars and a semi-truck. In the first accident, the semi driver, a 46 year-old man from Channa, Illinois was not injured. Due to the back-up of the first accident involving the three vehicle accident, a second accident occurred.  A 63 year-old man from Evergreen Park, Illinois was driving a double trailer semi-truck on I-80 eastbound and hit a stopped semi thus causing a chain reaction.  Upon impact from the second semi-truck, the semi involved in the first crash was pushed into a third truck driven by a 45 year-old man from Iowa and then that truck then hit a fourth truck driven by a 45 year-old man of Quebec, Canada.  The 63-year old truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene and the Chana, Illinois truck driver was taken to Morris Hospital and was expected to be treated and released according to the Morris Daily Herald.

The first accident was taken care of by District 5 and the second accident was overseen by District 17.  The second crash is being investigated by state police and the La Salle County Coroner’s office. Both Illinois Department of Transportation and Seneca Fire and Ambulance assisted at the scene.

So why are truck accidents so much more seemingly dangerous than a regular auto accident?

The obvious answer is size, mobility and cargo.  Other factors which we do not commonly think are distracted driving, alcohol and drug influence and hour overages by drivers.

Semi-trucks perform a valuable service in our country as they transfer goods across the states and deliver the items we purchase in stores every day.  But when a semi-truck is involved in an accident, it almost always results in someone being seriously injured or killed and it is usually not the driver of the semi-truck. In the article today, one of the semi-truck drivers did die and in a tragic way. Investigators and officials will continue to investigate the accident to determine causes.

Semi-trucks due to their size are more dangerous than other vehicles because they can weigh up to and over 80,000 lbs opposed to cars and small pick-ups weighing less than 5,000 pounds.  In a crash, the size and velocity of a semi-truck overwhelms other vehicles.  Also, semi-trucks do not have the maneuverability of other vehicles. Brake time is long because of the size of the truck and semi-trucks do not turn as easily.  A semi-truck driver may be able to see an impending crash and not have the space or time to avoid the accident quite the way a car or pick-up driver may have.

In all fairness, since semi-trucks are always on the interstates and highways we travel, many people just expect semi drivers to be more courteous and safe because driving the truck is their job.  You should expect that of semi-truck drivers, but also as a motor vehicle operator, you have an obligation to be considerate of semi-truck drivers.  Just like other drivers, semi-truck drivers fight distracted driving.  I welcome legislation that restricts semi-truck drivers from being able to use hand held devices while driving.  No driver of any kind should ever text or check their Facebook page or post a tweet. Sitting in traffic, many of us are guilty of this.

Another factor in semi-truck crashes is the use of alcohol or drugs. Impaired driving endangers us all.

Hours of service.  Many people do not realize that truck drivers have to obey Federal Motor Carrier Acts and only drive so many hours in a specified time. Sometimes drivers keep two logs: a log with their actual hours and a log recording hours according to federal regulations.

If you or a family member has been seriously injured or killed in a semi-truck crash, you may need to contact an attorney just to be sure that all variables are investigated.  Experienced attorneys know the proper measure to take to be sure evidence is not destroyed. If you are in an accident, you do not always need an attorney. But if you have been seriously injured and there are more than one insurance carrier involved or if the insurance carrier is not taking responsibility, you need an attorney. Unfortuantely, if you wait for an offer from an insurance company, considerable time may have passed and evidence may have been destroyed that is crucial to your case.  Or you may not know the full extent of your medical injuries for several months.  It costs nothing to consult an experienced personal injury attorney. Call Zane T. Cagle of The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681.