Earlier this morning, the Omaha World Herald reported a deadly truck accident that occurred on I-80 in Nebraska. As the result of a collision between a semi-truck and a mobile home, an Illinois man was killed, while numerous others were injured. While the initial cause of the accident is unknown, reports claim that the semi-truck rear-ended the motor home, causing the semi to jackknife and collide into a bridge rail. The collision set afire both the semi and the motor home.
The driver of the semi sustained severe personal injuries and was flown by helicopter to the nearest hospital. The semi’s passenger, who was riding in the rear “sleeping” portion of the trailer, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and the passengers of the motor home all sustained injuries as well and were taken to the hospital. The driver of the semi, as well as, the occupants of the motor home were all wearing safety belts.
A “jackknife” occurs when a semi-truck comes to a sudden stop. While the cab of the truck itself comes to a halt, the load the truck is carrying continues its forward momentum, ultimately causing the load to move horizontally across the highway. As you can see, the jackknife of a semi-truck is responsible for many highway accidents due to the fact that it causes the truck to take up all encompassing lanes on the highway. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 10% of semi-truck occupant fatalities are associated with a jackknife. In addition, the likelihood of a jackknife fatality substantially increases when: there is a speed limit of 55 and over, poor weather, and/or a curved road.
Our Illinois truck accident attorneys send our deepest condolences to the family of the victim, as well as, those injured in the collision. The fatality rate of highway accidents due to semi-trucks has continued to be on the rise and proper safety precautions need to be taken in order to prevent future accidents such as this one. Victims and their families should seek legal relief if they have been harmed by the carelessness of a negligent driver.