Articles Posted in Semi Truck Accidents

The family of a five-year-old boy killed in a Maine trucking accident is reportedly weighing a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the box truck that struck the reatruckr of the vehicle in which he was a passenger. The crash also killed the boy’s 57-year-old volunteer driver, who had been transporting the boy from an educational program on a recent Friday afternoon.

According to the Portland Press-Herald, the pair died instantly after a box truck driven by a commercial driver rear-ended them on the Maine Turnpike at mile marker 22. The box truck reportedly slammed into the back of the volunteer driver’s car and then rode up onto its roof. The forceful impact of the collision also reportedly pushed the decedent’s car into the tractor-trailer that was in front of it.

The crash happened at around 2 p.m., after the volunteer driver and others on the turnpike had slowed down as emergency and clean up crews worked to clear the roadway following an earlier trucking accident at mile marker 24. In that crash, a motorist was thrown from a vehicle that collided with a median guardrail, causing the driver to suffer critical injuries.

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Two men died and two others were seriously injured when a pickup truck slammed into a dump truck on a recent Wednesday morning in Durham. It was shortly after 7 a.m. when the pickup, exiting Rabbit Road onto Route 9, slammed into a crossing dump truck driven by a 42-year-old. Two of the men inside the pickup, ages 21 and 24, were pronounced dead at the scene. A third, age 35, was seriously injured and taken by helicopter to a Lewiston hospital. The dump truck driver also suffered injuries, although he was reportedly in fair condition.

Several of the details we know about this case so far suggest there may be complex legal issues that trucking accident attorneys will likely explore in civil litigation. dump truck

The dump truck was reportedly owned by a local construction company, according to The Portland Press Herald. The pickup struck the dump truck near the gas tank. The pickup truck burst into flames almost instantaneously as the dump truck flipped onto its side. Three men who happened on the scene pulled the three men out of the burning pickup truck.

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Almost 23 years have passed since Daphne Izner’s 17-year-old son and three of his friends, parked in the breakdown lane of the Maine Turnpike when their car overheated, were struck and instantly killed by a tired trucker. Despite causing four deaths, the truck driver was never charged with manslaughter. Drowsy driving wasn’t – and still isn’t – punishable by law in Maine. (The driver did ultimately serve three months in jail for falsely logging his work hours, a major problem in the Maine trucking industry.) Last year, HB 683, which would have made it a crime to operate a vehicle after 24 consecutive hours without sleep or while the person’s ability or alertness is so impaired by fatigue that it’s unsafe, failed in the state senate. truckcargo

Nonetheless, Izner has not given up her 23-year fight to make Maine’s roads safer. A year after their son died, Izner and her husband founded Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT) which has been a force for change on Maine’s roads.

In 2002, PATT became the Truck Safety Coalition after joining forces with Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways. But for all the progress she and other safe trucking advocates have made, there are those in Congress who are still actively working to peel back federal safety regulations for the trucking industry. Specifically, the hours of service regulations for truckers is one that lobbyists have been working to scale back. Safety advocates like Izner aren’t giving up. They know how much is at stake.  Continue reading

A Tennessee man is facing charges of manslaughter following a Maine truck accident that resulted in two fatalities in March. Now, the Bangor Daily News has revealed the driver had a safety record that was much worse than the national average. truckforward

This matters, particularly for his civil case, because it could be grounds to assert direct liability – and not just vicarious liability – against the trucking company that employed him. It may also be grounds to seek punitive damages, which could greatly increase the damage award for plaintiffs.

The newspaper reported that the 54-year-old trucker was hired by a carrier based in Tennessee. The company’s owner told a reporter he had no idea the driver’s license had been suspended in Louisiana and revoked in Virginia. At that point, he directed questions about the crash to his attorney, though he failed to provide the contact information for that individual.  Continue reading

If the tractor-trailer was going to overturn anywhere, perhaps it’s best that it occurred in a desolate parking lot early in the morning. However, the accident did injure the driver, who reportedly fell asleep behind the wheel, and came perilously close to injuring two people asleep inside a motor home parked at the edge of the lot. whitesemis

According to state police, the crash happened at a northbound service plaza in Kennebunk, just off the Maine Turnpike. The large truck, which was hauling tons of crushed glass, allegedly spun out-of-control in the lot shortly after 7:30 a.m. The vehicle struck a sign, slammed into two light posts and then overturned on its side. Broken glass was strewn everywhere, as the box trailer was split wide open.

The wreckage came within inches of a motor home that was parked. The two occupants were not hurt, but they were extremely lucky. The vehicle that was being towed by the motor home did sustain minor damage, but the pair was able to drive away later that morning with no issue. Continue reading

A 79-year-old man from North Carolina was driving his Buick along a section of Maine highway commonly referred to as “The Bluffs,” which overlooks the Frenchman Bay. It’s a stunning view, and the driver pulled onto the shoulder around 1 p.m. to take a look. His 73-year-old wife stayed in her seat while he exited his vehicle, which was fully off the roadway. accident2

A 2007 box truck, driven by a 41-year-old Bangor man, seated next to an 18-year-old passenger, came barreling down the road, veered across an oncoming lane of traffic and went off the side of the road as it headed east toward Bar Harbor.  The truck crashed into the Buick and struck the man who had stopped to site see. He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

His wife too suffered serious injuries, but they are not believed to be life-threatening. The truck driver was not seriously hurt. His young passenger was not injured. Continue reading

The new year began in Maine with a series of tractor-trailer accidents along icy roads throughout the state. semitruck1

According to state troopers, crashes on Route 9 and on Interstate 95 shut down traffic for many hours – and in one case, until the next day – while crews worked to clear the wreckage. Amazingly, no serious injuries were reported, though one driver had minor cuts and bruises and 20 other passenger vehicles sustained damage. Additionally, a 30-foot section of guardrail attached to a bridge on Bond Brook overpass was decimated.

While icy, snow conditions are nothing new for Maine drivers, tractor-trailers are known to be less maneuverable. They start more slowly, they take more time to stop and they are especially susceptible to adverse road conditions. Considering the average 18-wheeler commercial truck weighs about 25 times that of a regular car (in some cases, up to 40 times more), the risk of serious injuries and death in tractor-trailer collisions is high. In fact, crashes involving large trucks account for one-eighth of all traffic fatalities.

Authorities have issued a summons for a tractor trailer driver who was allegedly distracted while operating his rig on Interstate 95, causing him to wreck into several trees in the median. truck1

Although no other vehicles were involved and the 26-year-old, who had been hauling wood chips was not injured, troopers who arrived on scene were placed in danger. They arrived to find the fuel tank of the vehicle submerged in mud and leaking.

According to media reports, the crash in Island Falls was precipitated by the trucker reaching to find the switch to heat his mirrors. He reportedly had never driven this type of truck before and was not familiar with the controls. That no one was injured is cause for gratitude, as crashes involving such large trucks have the potential to result in serious and permanent injuries and even death.

A tractor-trailer truck driver hauling recycled paper lost control of his vehicle recently on the Maine Turnpike in Kittery, and slammed through a steel guardrail, before crossing over the median and colliding head-on with a sport-utility vehicle driven by a Rhode Island woman.trucksontheroad

The 59-year-old SUV driver was killed instantly, according to media reports. A spokeswoman for the Maine Turnpike Authority called it one of the most severe she’d ever seen. While some truck accidents had been precipitated by tractor-trailer drivers taking out up to 800 feet of guardrail, few actually crossed over the median, she said.

There is no evidence the trucker tried to brake in the moments before impact, which usually suggests one of a few things: Extreme fatigue, intoxication, a medical event or a mechanical defect.

A large truck crash that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed one of his colleagues recently spotlighted the ongoing problem with truck driver fatigue. The trucker had reportedly been awake for 24 hours prior to the wreck. Just days before that crash, U.S. Senators – spearheaded by Sent. Susan Collins of Maine –  moved to weaken laws intended to curb accidents caused by tired truckers, which is the root cause in roughly 1 in 7 large trucking accidents. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Add to that the fact that one in every 10 fatal crashes involves a large truck, and this is reason for serious alarm.

In Maine, our Bangor truck accident lawyers understand there have been a series of major crashes involving large trucks just in the last few weeks.