Articles Posted in Tractor-Trailer Accident

A new study published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that while most semitrailers are doing their part in trying to keep cars from sliding underneath them during a crash, most of them fail to prevent deadly underride.

Underride crashes occur when a vehicle collides with the rear or side of a semi-truck trailer. The force of impact during the crash as well as the weight of the trailer have the capability to crush or shear off the roof of a car. When the occupant compartment is crushed, safety apparatuses like airbags and seat belts tend to fail. Individuals involved in these types of accidents usually suffer serious and often fatal head and torso injuries, as well as decapitation.

Most modern semitrailers are required to have underride guards (steel bars that hang below the back of trailers) to prevent vehicles from sliding beneath them. Their purpose is to ultimately decrease the amount of vehicular damage and increase the chances of survival during an accident. Many tractor trailer manufacturers now produce trailers with underride guards that are stronger and larger than what is required by law, to maximize their effectiveness in the event of an accident.
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A 56-year-old man was crossing the Bourne Bridge this morning when he lost control of his bicycle and fell onto the roadway and in the path of a tractor trailer. According to State Police and Bourne police, the man was heading northbound, off of Cape Cod, at about 5:40 a.m. when the truck driver, traveling in the opposite direction, saw him lose control, possibly due to strong winds rushing over the bridge.

Firefighters were able to remove the victim from underneath the wheels of the truck’s cab, during which time the bridge was closed off completely. According to Bourne Police Lieutenant Richard Silvestro, the truck driver “saw that the bicyclist appeared to be out of control” and attempted to avoid hitting him, but he ultimately went under the rear wheels and became trapped there. The man was then removed and flown to a nearby hospital where he was treated for “serious, but non-life threatening, injuries.” The bridge was closed in both directions for about an hour.
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An accident involving a dump truck set off a four-car accident that left three people injured on Route 16 in Uxbridge. A Toyota Camry driven by George Cournoyer, 73, of Slatersville, R.I., drifted into the opposite lane of traffic and hit a dump truck that was towing an excavator. The dump truck then lost control and the trailer flipped over, blocking both lanes. Two other cars were hit as the trailer rolled over.

Cournoyer was severely injured. Mendon Police Chief Ernest Horn, who led the accident reconstruction investigation reported that,”He had significant internal injuries and left-sided injuries from the crash.” According to Police Chief Scott J. Freitas, the roof of his car had to be removed in order to extricate him. He was then taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester by helicopter.

A pregnant woman from Webster, Stephanie Daigle, and her 6-year-old son were taken to Milford Regional Medical Center with what Freitas described as “very, very minor injuries.” She was taken to the hospital as a caution because she was pregnant and has since been released. Her vehicle was hit by the trailer as it rolled over.

Because diesel fuel spilled onto the road from the crash, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and Clean Harbors were contacted to clean up the environmental hazards.

Although no charges have been filed yet, the accident is currently under investigation and charges are expected to be filed.

When involved in a Massachusetts car accident, it is advised that you contact a Massachusetts car accident lawyer. Especially in the case of a multiple-car accident with one vehicle at fault, it is important to find a >lawyer who has decades of experience with multiple-car accident insurance claims.


Several hurt in Uxbridge crash, The Milford Daily News, April 19, 2011
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A Massachusetts highway accident on December 8 claimed the life of a 61-year-old Dracut man. State police are still investigating the cause of this fatal accident, but a preliminary investigation shows that a 2006 Mercedes Benz driven by the man was headed south on I-93 when it swerved into the breakdown lane and crashed into a disabled tractor trailer. According to police, the tractor trailer was parked away from the roadway and had its hazard lights flashing.

The driver of the Mercedes was pronounced dead at the scene of the traffic accident, which occurred around 10:43pm. It was unclear if anyone in the tractor trailer was injured.

The details of the fatal collision are still being investigated by Massachusetts State Police with assistance from the State Police Crime Scene Services Section and State Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Section.

Source: State Police still investigating fatal Medford crash, Medford Transcript, December 16, 2010 Continue reading

A driver was injured Tuesday when a tractor trailer rolled over on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Weston. Claudio Garcia, a 45-year-old Haverhill man, was driving westbound, entering an Interchange 15 ramp when his Mack truck rolled over on the side of the road. Garcia was taken to Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and no one else was hurt.

Highway exit and entrance ramps are a common place for rollovers to happen, especially for those driving tractor trailers and other tall, heavy vehicles. It is important to approach ramps at an appropriate speed. Trucks often roll over when the driver is going too fast when entering the ramp or underestimates the sharpness of the curve.

Truck drivers exiting or entering on a ramp should remember that the posted speed limits are largely meant for passenger vehicles, not tractor trailers or big trucks. Truck drivers should slow down even more when entering a ramp or curve because studies show that even when travelling at the speed limit, it’s not unusual for trucks to flip over. With bad weather approaching, slowing down is even more crucial.

Drivers like Garcia, who are involved in single-car accidents, might wonder about their ability to pursue compensation for their injuries. This will depend on the circumstances, and the only way to find out is to contact a personal injury lawyer in your area.

Source: The Boston Globe, Driver injured in Pike truck rollover
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On Friday evening around 7:30pm, a crash involving a tractor-trailer carrying about 100 gallons of propane led to a fire and knocked high voltage wires to the ground. Police evacuated residents of Palmer, Massachusetts within a three-quarter-mile radius of the accident as a precaution. They were taken to two nearby middle schools until about 1am Saturday, when they were allowed back into their homes.

The tractor-trailer had reportedly crashed into a utility pole. Massachusetts police are still investigating the exact cause of the accident, but no injuries were reported.

Although there were no injuries in this particular case, accidents involving tractor-trailers can lead to catastrophic injury. Earlier this year, three teenagers were injured when the SUV they were riding in collided with a tractor-trailer. A firefighter also sustained injuries during the rescue efforts.

Source: Residents Back Home After Propane Truck Crash, The Boston Channel, November 27, 2010 Continue reading

Three teenagers sustained injuries when the SUV they were traveling in collided with a tractor-trailer. The accident occurred on Boston Road in Sutton at approximately 1 p.m. on Thursday.

The Dodge SUV, which was being operated by an 18-year-old Sutton resident, crossed the center line on Boston Road and crashed into a Coca-Cola truck.

Rescue crews extracted the driver of the SUV with the Jaws of Life. The driver was then airlifted by Boston Medflight to UMass Memorial Medical Center – University Campus in Worchester. The young man’s condition was has not yet been made available.
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This morning at 9:21 a.m., a pickup truck slammed into a tractor-trailer that was stopped in the breakdown lane on the eastbound side of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Grafton, causing a six-mile backup.

The operator of the Toyota Tundra Pickup truck was airlifted from the accident to a nearby hospital. State Police are reporting that the driver has suffered serious injuries. Following the collision, State Police crime scene and accident reconstruction experts investigated the scene.

Earlier today, the same stretch of the Mass Pike was closed due to a tractor trailer fire. The tractor trailer, which was hauling corn, erupted into flames a mile away from where the later collision occurred. Police are currently investigating both accidents.
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A Fairhaven, Massachusetts woman died on Sunday after being hit by a tractor-trailer. The 68-year-old woman reportedly got out of her car, a 1998 Plymouth Voyager, after pulling over to the right shoulder at the Springfield interchange in Virginia.

A tractor-trailer swerved to the right shoulder to avoid hitting a car that was slowing to stop, then sideswiped the Massachusetts woman’s vehicle, hit the woman, and went back into traffic. The tractor-trailer accident victim was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which occurred just before 2pm on Sunday afternoon.

Following the traffic accident, the exit ramp was closed for roughly an hour. One of the lanes reopened around 3:15pm.

Source: Woman killed in Va. tractor-trailer accident, Washington Post, April 12, 2010 Continue reading

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