A crash involving two big rigs and four cars on I-91 in Longmeadow, Massachusetts on Jan. 19 left a driver dead, several others injured, and hundreds of bottles of shampoo scattered on the highway, the Massachusetts State Police reported.
The deadly tractor-trailer crash happened at 7 AM in the northbound lanes when the driver of a Peterbilt tractor-trailer smashed into the rear of another big rig that had slowed because of a line-painting truck a few miles ahead in Springfield. The Peterbilt truck driver was killed in the collision.
After the Peterbilt hit the second tractor trailer, the truck continued down the road and hit four other cars that also had slowed down due to the line-painting truck. Three motorists had non-life-threatening injuries. The highway was closed at exit 49 for several hours as the police investigated and a 300 yard stretch of highway had to be cleared of shampoo.
Rear end accidents are always dangerous. When a vehicle fails to slow for traffic in front, a rear end crash can cause serious injuries. However, when the rear end wreck involves a tractor trailer, the results can be catastrophic.
Rear end collisions happen for many reasons. But generally our tractor trailer accident personal injury attorneys have seen many accidents such as the above occur from distracted driving. Distracted driving is any type of activity that distracts the driver’s attention from driving. This can include texting, talking on a cell phone, eating and drinking, talking to others in the vehicle, adjusting the radio or GPS, etc. It is estimated that 3477 people died in 2015 alone from distracted driving in the US.
Also, the fact that the crash happened in the early morning hours suggests to us that the driver may have nodded off behind the wheel.
The fact that the truck driver who caused this rear end crash died in the accident does not mean that the other injured drivers cannot sue for damages. If the other drivers and passengers have suffered personal injuries from the negligence of the deceased trucker, the trucking company may be held liable in civil court.
For example, our Virginia personal injury attorneys represented the family of the deceased in a wrongful death lawsuit where he was killed by another truck driver. He was sideswiped when he was pulled over on I-95 in Virginia. The negligent truck driver died from a medical condition later, but our personal injury attorneys were able to win a $2.25 million settlement from the trucking company.