It seems that every time we turn around, there’s another large highway accident caused by a commercial truck driver. This is, of course, not an indictment of all professional truckers out there, many of whom are conscientious drivers who understand the enormity of their personal responsibility to handle these big rigs with care and safety. But, on the other hand, there is a percentage of 18-wheeler, box truck and commercial delivery truck operators who lack either the training or the concern for others on the roadways.
As Maryland commercial trucking accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers, it’s our job to help victims of highway traffic accidents and their families recover from severe and sometimes fatal car, truck and motorcycle wrecks. Nothing can shock a family to its core like a serious injury accident that sends a father or mother to the hospital.
Medical costs alone are difficult enough to manage these days, what with many people being out of work or just hanging on. Throw in the loss of wages due to a terrible car, or truck collision and you have a perfect storm of hospital bills and no, or greatly reduced family income to help pay for them.
While a number of trucking accidents can be attributed to mechanical problems, such as defective safety equipment, poorly maintained brakes, or badly worn tires, a greater percentage of tractor-trailer crashes stem from driver error. It’s not uncommon these days for even a professional truck driver to be distracted by his cellphone or some other device in the truck cab.
Whatever the reason, the carnage wrought by an out-of-control 18-wheeler can be widespread and deadly for occupants of nearby passenger cars. Broken bones, internal injuries, head and neck trauma, as well as other serious injuries can be life-threatening if the victim is not attended to in time.
A while back, a Maryland trucker was cited by police as a result of an out-of-state accident that caused injuries to a number of people, and that also involved a busload of youngsters coming home from camp. According to news reports, the accident happened along a well-traveled portion of Interstate 70 when 45-year-old Jesse Falkenberg, a resident of Thurmont, MD, apparently failed to reduce his speed as he approached a number of other vehicles.
The chain-reaction crash occurred in the morning hours on a Friday when Falkenberg’s 2001 Kenworth reportedly rear-ended a 1993 Coach America Crusader carrying more than 30 children from summer camp. The force of the impact caused the Crusader to plow into 7-Series BMW driven by a 46-year-old woman, which in turn hit an International tractor-trailer driven by a Ft. Lauderdale, FL, trucker.
Based on reports, it appears that the semi driver failed to reduce his speed, eventually slamming into a line of three vehicles going about 30mph as a result of a car ahead trying to turn right off of the highway.
Most of the people in the affected vehicles were treated at the scene by paramedics, although almost one dozen were taken to a local hospital for precautionary checkups. Fortunately, nobody suffered life-threatening injuries. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries among the kids who were riding in the Crusader.
Truck driver cited in chain-reaction collision, ENCToday.com, July 19, 2011