Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on November 21st, 2013,
by Zane Cagle

Three Vehicle Semi-Truck Crash in Joilet, Illinois

Posted on November 21st, 2013 by Zane Cagle

A semi-truck collided with a passenger car on Interstate 80, just west of U.S. 30 in Joliet, Illinois yesterday.  Illinois State Police said one semi-truck sideswiped another semi-truck on westbound I-80 Wednesday morning around 10 a.m.  According to Trooper Guy Vancina, the first truck was attempting to merge into the left lane in order to avoid a vehicle coming into traffic when it collided with the second truck, causing a crash and the truck spilled its load of biscuits and rolls over the roadway.

The force of the collision of the truck accident also caused the sideeswiped truck to strike a passenger vehicle.  At that time, no injuries were reported nor how many people were in the passenger car. No tickets were issued at the time of the accident, but the interstate was closed for about an hour and a half while clean up took about three more hours.

Collisions of semi-trucks with passenger cars are usually serious as passenger vehicles do not generally  fare well in a semi-truck due to the disproportionate size between a semi and a passenger car.  Semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds in contrast to a mid-size passenger car that typically weighs around 7,000 pounds.

Factors that usually increase the severity of a semi-truck and passenger vehicle crash include:

  1. Speed- Generally the speed on interstates is between 50-75 mph depending on the road, meaning through city areas including merging traffic, semi-truck drivers usually reduce their speed as vehicles are entering and leaving traffic including the semi-trucks
  2. Size of semi-truck load.  Semi-trucks that have heavy loads, such as steel, traveling at 70 mph have more velocity and can result in more damage to whatever they collide with such as another car or highway railings and poles/supports

An interesting note on this article were the “comments” section. I do not usually pay much attention to the comments that people make on articles since few of the comments are usually based in fact. Usually comments are made by people who have other agendas such as they have had an experience similar, they want to voice an opinion about a similar issue or know someone in the crash.  Often people just comment without thinking about the impact their comments will have upon the actual people involved in an accident–such is the nature of social media commenting. So, we must really evaluate the comments and look for threads or themes that are consistent that tells us how others think/feel about a variety of issues. There were some prevailing comment themes, that I thought were interesting.  Several people talked about the possible factor of texting while driving. While none of these commenters had any facts other than the news article, they were quick to assume that texting may be a factor whether it was one of the semi-truck drivers  or driver of the passenger or the inattentive behavior of the truck driver. Texting and driving is a major concern for many and while I don’t think any of the victims of this accident appreciate others making assumptions, the one positive thing that I saw in the comments is the awareness that texting and driving is extremely dangerous. We have NO reason to believe that any of the three drivers were texting, being inattentive or careless at this point. I mention the comments only because I think it is positive that many people are getting the message that it is important to be attentive and NOT text and drive.

If you have been involved in a semi-truck accident and were seriously injured, you need legal representation.  According to the Illinois State Patrol, investigation is still on going as to all factors and causes of the accident. Factors are different for each accident, therefore the fact pattern is different for each accident case.  When semi-trucks are involved in an accident, it is important to get expert accident investigators on the case quickly while physical evidence is fresh. Much more can be determined about possible factors and causes of the accident in the first few days than several months later. For instance, often the trucks and passenger vehicles are destroyed soon after the collision, thus valuable evidence is forever gone unless investigators properly identify and photograph the vehicles at the crash site. As well, thorough investigators examine the vehicles independent from the crash site and photograph and record evidence.  If you involve an experienced truck accident attorney right away, action can be taken to keep the vehicles from being destroyed thus preserving the evidence. The evidence may be crucial in proving your claim is liability is in question or if it is determined that a driver acted carelessly or negligently.  Whether or not a citation was issued, does not always imply fault/liability.

In fact, highway patrol and/or police officers do not determine fault or liability, they focus on responding to injuries, clearing the road and documenting the crash scene as trained.  They may issue citations but those citations may or may not be used  At The Cagle Law Firm, we work with seriously injured victims of semi-truck accidents including truck drivers who are seeking fair compensation for their injuries.  Compensation includes getting your medical bills covered, lost wages and other damages.  Damages is another word for losses.  When you are involved in a serious auto accident, your injuries may be significant. It may be that you are unable to work for quite some time or possibly your injuries are such that you cannot return to your current job.  Our attorneys understand there are many questions and uncertainties after an auto accident, small or large. We are available seven days a week to share information with you. Call locally (314) 276-1681 or toll free (314) 276-1681.

Source:  Sorensen, K. Truck Loses Bread Load in 3-Vehicle Crash on I-80, Joliet Patch 11/21/13