As passenger car drivers and motorcycle riders, most people traveling Maryland’s highways and surface streets know how often they encounter a commercial motor vehicle on the same stretch of roadway. For most of us, the reality of having to share the road with a large and potentially dangerous 18-wheeler, big rig semi, or tractor-trailer rig is just something that we learn to accept. Until, at least, a person is involved in a traffic collision with one of these deadly machines.
As Baltimore auto accident attorneys, I and my colleagues have seen the results of multi-vehicle highway and interstate wrecks caused by a negligent trucker. The carnage wrought by these huge vehicles and very heavy trailers can be extensive, causing severe injuries to the occupants of one or more passenger vehicles in the process. As anyone who follows the news understands, roadway collisions involving large box trucks and big semi tractor-trailers can also result in multiple fatalities given the right circumstances.
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time is not something anyone, who themselves has tangled with a commercial motor carrier, would likely wish upon another individual. Not only the potential physical injuries and long-term medical complications, but also the financial and emotional toll, are something that victims of trucking-related traffic accidents suffer from most. While nobody would want to be involved in a car or motorcycle accident, being caught up in a commercial truck wreck is another experience best left to the movies or television dramas.
Every year, thousands of innocent people — drivers, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists — are either injured or killed as a result of a tractor-trailer collision, city bus crash, or delivery truck wreck. The large size and shear bulk of these commercial vehicles can make the collateral injuries severe than what might be expected in a traffic accident involving small passenger cars or even the largest SUVs.
As we mentioned, pedestrians can also suffer greatly from the impact of a large delivery truck in town or on the highway. Closed-head trauma, neck and back injuries, and spinal cord damage can easily result in such encounters. As we’ve advised on numerous occasions, be especially cautious when near these vehicles on the highway or in the city. One recent news story makes this warning all the more obvious.
According to news articles last month, a Maryland resident was killed not long ago when an 18-wheeler smashed into his disabled passenger sedan as he was changing a flat tire on Interstate 695 near Overlea in Baltimore County. The crash happened around 5am on a Thursday morning as the motorist was tending to the flat on the right-hand shoulder of the Beltway’s inner loop.
Based on police information, two other passengers — a 17-year-old girl and a one-year-old baby — were also hurt when a late-model International tractor-trailer rig hit the victim’s ‘99 Ford Crown Victoria sitting on the roadside; both of the surviving victims were inside the car at the time of the impact, however the baby was reportedly thrown from the sedan as a result of the collision.
News articles stated that the man was pronounced dead on the scene. Miraculously, the teenager and the infant survived with non-life-threatening injuries and were treated at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and Johns Hopkins Hospital, respectively. At the time of the news reports, the trucker had not been charged as police continued to investigate the incident.
Fatal tractor-trailer crash closes Beltway’s Inner Loop, WBALTV.com, February 22, 2013
Police Identify Man Killed in Beltway Crash Near Overlea, Patch.com, February 21, 2013