Highway Work Zones and Truckers – a Dangerous Combination on North Carolina’s Roadways

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Summer is just around the corner and, with it, an increased amount of travel for many North Carolina families. The destination may be a quick getaway to the beach, an out-of-state trip to a friend’s wedding, or a jaunt across the country for a niece or nephew’s high school graduation.

Whatever the purpose of the trip, there’s one thing you can expect:  there will be plenty of traffic, lots of big trucks on the road, and a heightened level of danger when traveling through work areas and construction zones.

A Tragic End to a Family’s Mother’s Day Weekend

A South Carolina military family’s trip to visit family in Pennsylvania ended tragically when a tractor trailer crashed into their vehicle as they approached an area of Interstate 95 where workers were repainting the lines on the highway, according to news reports. Both parents and their two children (one of whom was an infant) perished in the crash. The father was reportedly an active member of the armed forces, serving his country at the Naval Weapons Station in South Carolina. The wreck happened just a few miles north of the North Carolina – South Carolina border.

Another media source stated that traffic was being merged into one lane at the site of the accident and that a tanker truck driver’s failure to stop or slow his vehicle down to an appropriate speed allegedly began the series of events that ultimately involved three big rigs and three passenger vehicles.

A Series of Collisions as Multiple Vehicles Approached a Work Zone

Reports indicate that the family had slowed down as they entered the work zone, but a tractor-trailer driven by a 68-year-old South Carolina man did not slow down quickly enough. The 18-wheeler struck the family’s vehicle, pushing it forward into a second vehicle. The second vehicle hit the back of yet a third automobile. Meanwhile, the first tractor-trailer hit a second 18-wheeler, which in turn hit a third big rig. At that point, authorities believe that the first truck left the interstate and caught fire.

One of the trucks was carrying 500 gallons of gasoline, but it is unclear whether it was this gas or fuel from one of the other trucks’ fuel tanks that started the fire. The fire allegedly spread to the median of the interstate, as well as a wooded area nearby. The wreck shut down the interstate for 12 hours and caused traffic to back up for approximately seven miles. The fire was so bad that North Carolina Department of Transportation officials were concerned about the structural integrity of the interstate.

In addition to the family of four, the truck driver of the first rig also died in the accident, and the occupants of the other two smaller vehicles were seriously injured. The truck drivers who were operating the second and third trucks were reportedly treated at the scene and released.

Hire an Experienced North Carolina Truck Accident Attorney

When truck drivers and trucking companies breach their duty of due care to the others on the road, a tragic death is all too common. If your family has been affected by a fatal North Carolina truck accident, the personal injury lawyers at Nagle & Associates can help. For a free consultation, call us at 800-411-1583. We serve clients throughout North Carolina.

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