While there are numerous factors that can contribute to a commercial truck crash, many Maryland trucking-related traffic accidents involve problems with proper loading on the vehicle or trailer. Box trucks, dump trucks and gravel haulers, as well as semi tractor-trailers must all be loaded properly to avoid dangerous roadway collisions due to shifting contents or lost loads.
As Maryland personal injury attorneys and commercial truck accident lawyers, I and my legal staff understand the potential for serious or fatal injury that can result from a highway accident between a large commercial vehicle and smaller motor vehicle. Occupants of passenger sedans, SUVs, minivans can receive life-threatening injuries during a collision with an 18-wheeler or large delivery truck. Pedestrians and even motorcycle riders hurt in these kinds of traffic accidents are often among the most likely to die as a result of such traffic wrecks.
As mentioned, improper loading, whether due to excessive weight, poor load placement, or improper tie-down or otherwise incorrectly secured loads can all be contributing factors to serious or fatal trucking accidents. With commercial semi tractor-trailers weighing upward of 80,000 pounds, it’s no surprise that commercial truck drivers must have specialized training and pass federally-mandated testing to qualify for a commercial trucking license. But in spite of all this, accident can and do occur on an alarmingly frequent basis.
A while back, a woman was killed after the car in which she was riding collided with a piece of construction machinery that fell off a flatbed trailer belonging to a Maryland firm. The crash happened on a Friday afternoon along a stretch of interstate, according to reports. Based on information from local police and fire-rescue units, 42-year-old Yingzi Wang driving southbound on the highway with three others in a 2000 Toyota Sienna when a backhoe/front-end loader apparently rolled off of the trailer in front of Wang’s vehicle.
The huge piece of construction equipment reportedly landed on top of the Toyota causing the vehicle to go out of control and leave the roadway. Police reports show that both the Sienna and the backhoe rolled about 20 feet down a nearby embankment off to the side of the road.
One of the victims, an elderly woman, was pronounced dead at the scene. Two of the injured were children aged 10 and 13. According to news reports, the driver was taken by medevac helicopter to a local hospital, while the 10-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl were transported via ambulance.
Based on police reports, the 49-year-old driver of the 2010 Freightliner, which was pulling the trailer, was not injured. The truck itself was reportedly operated by National Grid, which is the same company that owned and operated the Case backhoe that caused the fatal accident.
New reports indicate that all of the victims were trapped for some time in the Toyota as emergency crews worked to free them. Although the crash occurred around 1pm, the victims were not extricated until about 2:30, making for a deadly and harrowing experience for these people.
At the time of the news article, police had not determined the exact cause of the accident, or why the backhoe came loose from the trailer causing this fatal trucking accident. State Police were working on the investigation with other agencies including the state’s commercial motor vehicle enforcement department and crime scene investigators.
UPDATED: Westford Woman Killed in I-495 Crash, Patch.com, August 12, 2011