Articles Posted in Tractor/Trailer Accident

Chicagotribune.com recently reported that two large flatbed trucks collided last week and caused a large fire on Interstate 90 near Barrington. Police say one of the trucks was southbound in the right-hand lane of the interstate around 9am when it attempted to merge into the lane on its left. In the process, another flatbed truck struck it from behind.

Drivers were shocked to travel past the huge clouds of black smoke and flames that consumed both of the trucks. Local fire departments rushed to the scene, one firefighter saying “It was all flames when I got there.” The flames were reportedly high enough to touch nearby utility wires stretching across the roadway. Leaking diesel fuel mixed with the water that firefighters used to douse the trucks caused a small fire that ran down the edge of the roadway. A firefighter working on the scene almost got trapped between the fire in the vehicles and the fire along the side of the road. The flames were large enough to completely destroy the cab of one truck and the engine compartment of the other.

Neither driver was injured in the accident, although an officer at the scene told reporters, “There are a lot of ways this could have been a lot worse.” The first flatbed truck had been carrying big pipes, machinery, and other equipment that could have easily caused more injury or damage. The second flatbed truck was issued a ticket for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. He allegedly told state police that he had put on the brakes, but too late to avoid the collision.

A drunk driver that killed a woman in a head-on collision pleaded guilty last week in Madison County Circuit Court. Bnd.com released that the driver’s trial began on multiple charges relating to driving under the influence of alcohol in a fatal accident. The 36-year old of Clinton County caused the accident in February of 2010 when his pickup truck crashed into the woman’s SUV on Illinois 160 near Highland Road.

The woman from Trenton was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. Her mother was a passenger in the truck and suffered critical injuries. The pickup truck driver pleaded guilty last Friday morning to two of the four DUI charges, which included aggravated DUI resulting in death, and aggravated DUI resulting in bodily harm. It was reported that he already had two DUI charges within seven years when the accident took place. He was sentenced to 42 months in prison on each count.

Cases similar to the one above are all too common in Illinois. 47% of Illinois motor vehicle fatalities are estimated to involve alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is also stated that nearly three of every ten Americans are involved in an alcohol-related traffic accident in their lifetime. Our truck accident attorneys represent individuals and families who have suffered due to a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent motorist. We recently represented the family of a 32-year old woman who was killed by a semi-truck trailer driven by an impaired motorist.

An accident outside of Gurnee near Six Flags Great America injured sixteen people last Friday morning, according to Chicagotribune.com. Families and children traveling to the state theme park were stunned to see the six-vehicle crash and six ambulances that had responded to the scene. A truck accident attorney at our firm learned that the accident took place on I-94 at mile marker 9.5 near Grand Avenue, just north of Washington Street.

The accident was allegedly the result of a chain reaction collision involving three SUV’s, two passenger vehicles, and one semi truck that was hauling a trailer. Preliminary investigations of the accident determined that five vehicles were stopped in traffic in the far two right lanes of the interstate. The semi-truck was driving behind them and was unable to reduce speed. He then struck the rear of one of the vehicles, causing it to push into the others in front of it.

Gurnee Fire Department Chief reported that paramedics responded to the scene immediately and transported sixteen victims to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. Of those victims, three were in critical condition and two were airlifted from the medical center via Flight for Life to another hospital in Park Ridge. The thirteen remaining patients, who included both adults and children, ranged from fair to serious condition. Illinois State Police say that all of the patients were wearing their seat belts at the time of the collision.

Timesherald.com reports that a tractor-trailer overturned on an Illinois expressway exit ramp last week, trapping the driver inside of the tractor. A truck accident lawyer at our firm read that the late-morning accident caused the driver to remain trapped until early afternoon as emergency rescue crews and authorities responded to the scene. Traffic was also stopped on the ramp for a significant amount of time. After over two hours, the male driver was finally freed from the wreck and was flown by a medical helicopter to a nearby hospital for treatment of unknown injuries. State police opened the exit ramp to traffic after the accident scene was cleared.

In comparison to other segments of the highway, a large number of Illinois accidents commonly occur on freeway entrance and exit ramps. This is often due to congestion taking place on the ramps, trucks traveling near or directly next to passenger vehicles or motorcycles, and motorists traveling over the speed limit at the same time as the ramp curves. The Illinois Department of Transportation states that additional common factors contributing to these accidents are poor weather, driving under the influence, and traveling at night.

In order to reduce the number of accidents on highway ramps, it is crucial to drive attentively, responsibly, and most importantly, defensively at all times. When entering a highway ramp, speed limit signs often changes to about 35mph; despite this, many drivers continue traveling at their current speed of up to 50 mph on the ramp. Be sure to slow down and look out for upcoming curves or turns on the ramp. If there are other vehicles on the ramp, allow a proper amount of distance in between yourself and these vehicles in order to prevent collisions.

An Illinois truck accident lawyer at our firm recently read a report detailing a late-morning crash that left multiple lanes closed on Interstate 88. According to Dailyherald.com, the accident occurred last Thursday at approximately 12pm between Naperville Road and Yackley Road when the 48-year old driver of a tractor-trailer decided to change lanes. As he attempted to maneuver into the lane on his right, he struck a passenger vehicle. The result of this collision caused both the tractor-trailer and the passenger vehicle to turn out of control, eventually striking a flat bed tow truck nearby.

Illinois State Police reported that all three vehicles traveled off the right side of the road and into a ditch. Two of the drivers were transported to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital for treatment of injuries; it is not specified which vehicles these individuals were driving. The accident caused two lanes of eastbound I-88 to remain closed for more than four hours. All lanes were finally reopened just after 4pm. Investigators are continuing to work to determine what exactly triggered the accident.

From the perspective of our attorneys, a very large number of trucking accidents and collisions occur when truck drivers attempt to change lanes on highways and interstates. For semi trucks, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial vehicles, changing lanes can be extremely difficult because these vehicles have very large blind spots. Therefore, truck drivers tend to have difficulty seeing additional vehicles on the road around them. When driving near a semi truck, you will most likely know that the semi is near you, but the semi’s driver, however, may not be aware you are near. As displayed in the above report, accidents resulting from lane changes often involve more than two vehicles because the vehicles involved may spin out of control and into the path of others. This places many drivers on the road at a serious risk of injury, even if they are not involved in the initial collision.

Our wrongful death lawyers recently learned that a runaway truck trailer crashed into a minivan last Wednesday and killed seven individuals in the vehicle. Whig.com reports that the out of state accident occurred when a 24-year old truck driver’s trailer was hauling crushed cars when it broke free of the rig that was pulling them. The trailer cut across a two-lane road and slammed into the minivan just seconds later. The minivan was hit in rural Cortland County south of Syracuse, according to the report.

The driver of the minivan was heading home with friends and children in the vehicle when he was killed. Also killed in the accident were his 21-year old fiancé, a 26-year old woman with her two 4 and 5-year old daughters, and two additional children at the ages of 4 and 7. An eighth individual was taken to a nearby hospital with moderate injuries. According to the driver’s mother, “there was zero time to make a maneuver.”

The sheriff’s office released that investigators determined the cause of the accident to be mechanical failure. Tractors and trailers are commonly connected by a “fifth wheel” in which a pin on the trailer fits into the center of a piece of metal on the trailer and is secured by an automatic locking device. Authorities say that this truck part that was specifically used to securely lock the connection between the tractor and the trailer had failed. It is still being determined exactly why this happened. The truck was owned and operated by Newton Salvage of Georgetown.

An accident between a semi-trailer truck and a freight train took place in Eastern Illinois on Friday afternoon, according to Wandtv.com. Our train accident lawyers learned that the collision occurred in the small town of Caitlin, several miles southwest of Danville. The report states that the truck driver was traveling across the tracks at a moderate speed; the truck’s cab had just cleared the tracks when the train suddenly appeared and struck the semi’s empty trailer at close to 55mph.

The impact of the collision pushed the trailer about one hundred feet west of the crossing and left a large hole in its side. The driver of the semi-trailer thankfully walked away from the accident without serious injury. Illinois State Police and Norfolk Southern railroad officials are currently investigating the accident to determine if any other factors may have contributed to the collision.

In previous blogs, our law firm has discussed the number and severity of train accidents in Illinois, as almost all of these accidents include property damage, personal injury, medical expenses, or fatalities. Statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) show that railroad crossings in Illinois are more dangerous in terms of accident population. In 2010, Illinois was the second deadliest state in train crossing fatalities out of ten states. The FRA is currently making efforts to improve safety near railroads in Illinois and many other states with a high number of train crossing fatalities.

A southern Illinois truck driver miraculously survived a head-on collision with a loaded trailer last week, according to Gasconade County Republican. The 53-year old driver of Coulterville, Illinois was traveling eastbound on U.S. 50 when a loaded trailer tore loose from a westbound tractor and slammed into his truck. The trailer was loaded with “distiller’s grain” that burst from the trailer, covering the interstate’s eastbound lanes for several hundred feet. Dozens of policeman and personnel were on the scene attempting to clean the grain that in some places was three to four inches deep. Many used roller sweepers and sprayed gallons of water to remove more of the substance.

A local police trooper stated that he looked in his rear-view mirror while driving and saw the trailer slide into the oncoming truck. The tractor had allegedly crossed over the centerline at the crest of a hill on the highway, which was on a curve. As it began its descent forward, the trailer then broke loose from the tractor.

Our Illinois truck accident lawyers learned that the accident closed traffic to all motorists for hours. Local fireman rerouted eastbound and westbound traffic and eventually allowed tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles to pass through once the westbound lane was reopened.

Bnd.com recently reported that a wrongful death suit was filed on Wednesday following the death of Illinois State Trooper after he was struck by a semi truck. Our Chicago wrongful death attorneys read that the 32-year old trooper and former Madison County Sheriff’s deputy was killed in late November while he was executing a traffic stop on Interstate 55 near Litchfield, Illinois. The suit has been filed on behalf of the trooper’s widow against the truck driver and the trucking company.

According to authorities, the driver was driving a semi-tractor trailer for DOT Foods when he hit the trooper on the shoulder of the highway, killing him upon impact. The driver reportedly suffered from an unknown medical condition that may have caused him to black out and lose control of his truck. The suit alleges DOT Foods acted improperly because it allowed the driver to operate his truck when he knew he was “medically unfit to do so” and was an “imminent danger to the public.”

The truck company’s corporate counsel could not be reached for comment regarding the accident. However, the victim’s family’s attorney stated that the trucking company is always looking for someone to drive their trucks. She asserts that trucking companies can’t keep up with the demand for drivers and ensuring drivers are healthy would cost too much, leaving unsafe drivers in control of tractor-trailers.

U.S. 24 was closed for nearly eight hours last Thursday after a three-vehicle accident involving two tractor-trailer units and a three-axle straight truck, according to Whig.com. An Illinois truck accident attorney at our law firm learned that a 58-year old man of Granville, Illinois was driving east on the highway around 12:50pm when heavy winds blew his truck sideways. As a result, the truck collided with the front end of a second tractor-trailer, driven by a 50-year old man of Murrayville. After the collision, the second truck spun out of control and came to a sudden stop, blocking U.S. 24.

To make matters worse, the driver of an International three-axle straight truck was also driving east on the highway when he approached the above accident. He was unable to stop his vehicle in time and ran off the right side of the road, overturning his truck seconds later.

Illinois State Police say all three drivers were wearing seat belts. The first tractor-trailer driver was reported to have suffered serious injures, the second tractor-trailer driver reported no injures, and the three-axle straight truck driver sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital. All three trucks were extremely damaged after the accident, and traffic on U.S. 24 was stopped for nearly eight hours as the trucks were removed and crews worked to clear the scene. Assisting at the site of the accident were the Brown County Sheriff’s Department and Fire and Rescue Team, in addition to the Schuyler County Ambulance.

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