The deadly tractor trailer crash happened on I-81 near exit 37 in the evening of July 27.
A 34-year-old male from Florida and another man from California were identified as the deceased truck drivers. Identification for both men had to be done with dental records as both bodies were severely burned.
The state police reported that the first truck driver was driving on I-81 when he suddenly swerved into the left lane for no apparent reason. The truck jackknifed. The other truck driver attempted to avoid the rig in front of him but he smashed into a concrete bridge at high speed.
Both truck drivers were pronounced dead at the crash scene. The police are still investigating.
There is no way to know for certain at this time why this terrible tractor trailer crash happened. We can speculate that the first truck driver was somehow distracted while driving; perhaps he fell asleep. Whatever the exact cause, it is tragic that this accident led to loss of life.
Distracted driving is dangerous for both truck drivers and regular passenger vehicle drivers. The NHTSA reported that 3477 people died due to distracted driving in 2015. The agency reports that the most alarming and common distraction behind the wheel today is texting. There is absolutely no reason for texting and driving. No driver should even be touching their cell phone when their vehicle is in motion.
However, the NHTSA estimates that during daylight hours, more than 650,000 drivers are using their phones illegally while driving. Tractor trailer drivers are especially at risk for getting into accidents if they are distracted by a cell phone. They are driving huge vehicles that are harder to control and stop.
Our Virginia and North Carolina-licensed personal injury attorneys hope that this terrible truck crash reminds truck drivers to ensure that they are never distracted while driving. They also should be certain that they get enough sleep. It is possible as well that the first truck driver fell asleep while driving.
Even though both truck drivers died, there is still a possibility that a wrongful death lawsuit could be filed by the family of the second truck driver. Trucking companies always have liability insurance. Such a civil lawsuit can net a grieving family possibly millions of dollars.