Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on April 25th, 2016,
by Zane Cagle

Sisters Killed in Tractor-Trailer Crash Near Stewartsville, Missouri

Posted on April 25th, 2016 by Zane Cagle

Saturday morning, on US 36 and Sharp Road at Stewartsville, two sisters of Bethany, Missouri were killed in collision with a tractor-trailer.

Tractor-Trailer Crash Results in Two Fatalities

staticmapTractor-trailer crashes are typically some of the most dangerous due to the large weight deferential between semi-trucks and passenger cars.

The sisters were traveling westbound on U.S. 36 when a tractor-trailer, driven by a 25 year-old Stockton, California man rear-ended their Chevrolet Impala driven by the 86 year old sister.  The Impala came to rest in the median and the tractor-trailer pulled over tot he right shoulder.

Both victims were wearing seatbelts according to the Missouri Highway Patrol report and both were pronounced dead at the scene.

Amount of Property Damage is Not Always an Indicator of Degree of Injury

While the amount of property damage does not always coincide with the degree of injury, in this particular crash the property damage was severe for both vehicles. The Chevy Impala was totaled and the tractor trailer was reported with “extensive” damage. Often, in similar crashes, the passenger vehicle may be the only vehicle that sustains serious damage.

The driver of the tractor trailer was reported as not injured. After looking at the photographs of the passenger vehicle, it is obvious it was a traumatic crash as it is difficult to even tell what kind of vehicle it was.

At this time, it is unclear why the semi-truck rear-ended the passenger vehicle.

Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions

While investigators continue to investigate this fatal crash and the complete analysis is not completed, there are several common causes of rear-end collisions:

  • Distraction and inattentiveness are by and large the most common cause of all motor vehicle crashes including rear-end collisions.  Distracted driving includes many behaviors and is not descriptive of only texting and driving though that is the context that most people hear it discussed.  Distracted driving also includes inattention–simply not paying attention for several seconds which can result in a crash
  • Talking on a cell phone or other electronic device.  Again, if the driver is involved in any other tasks other than driving, there is a possibility of becoming distracted and looking away from the roadway.
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Driver fatigue
  • Tailgating– not allowing the proper distance in between vehicles
  • Insufficient braking
  • weather – ice, snow and rain can make roadways less predictable
  • Hazardous lane changes-swerving too quickly in front or behind cars can cause rear0end crashes
  • Mechanical failure– failure of braking system in a vehicle.

Commercial Drivers Are Held to a Higher Driving Standard

Because over-the-road transportation companies can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, they are held to a higher standard of safety including driver performance and maintenance of the vehicles.  Commercial drivers have to be professional trained and must follow FMCSA regulations for hours of service so that they are not driving fatigued.  When tractor-trailers crashes occur, passenger vehicles generally suffer the brunt of the collision.

Because of the high number of serious injuries and fatalities involved in truck crashes, they have to be closely monitored for safety.  Of course, at this time we do not know if the crash occurred due to the truck driver’s error or if there was possible mechanical failure. Finding out these factors is extremely crucial for future safety and also for the families of the victims.

Legal Assistance is Crucial After a Truck Accident

Truck accidents are very different than regular motor vehicle accidents involving only passenger vehicles.  When serious injuries are involved or when a wrongful death  is the result, contacting an expert truck accident attorney is crucial.  In the days following a wrongful death, it is very difficult for the families to think about insurance and legal questions.  We understand that nightmare after the wrongful death of a loved one and we understand that families need an expert attorney to handle insurance and legal issues so that they can focus on grieving and coping with all of the changes that loss of a loved one means.

Consultations and information is always free and confidential at our firm.

Call at (314) 276-1681 any time.