The State of North Carolina publishes “Traffic Crash Facts” each year, summarizing information such as the total number of persons killed in motor vehicle accidents across the state, the primary causes of traffic accidents, and the various types of vehicles involved in such accidents. Reviewing this information gives one the sense that there is at least some degree of predictability to car and truck crashes.
For example, factors such as alcohol use, excessive speed, and distracted driving are commonly cited by investigating officers as causing or contributing to truck accidents, car wrecks, and motorcycle collisions. However, not every accident follows a predictable pattern.
The Most Deadly North Carolina Truck Accident
A recent retrospective news article focused on the deadliest crash ever recorded in North Carolina – and the deadliest in the nation at the time that it occurred. According to the report, some 21 people died in a truck accident that occurred near Fayetteville, North Carolina, in June 1957. None of the usual factors that lead to traffic fatalities was mentioned as possibly causing the crash; in fact, the article indicated that the reason for the accident is “still a mystery.”
The wreck happened when a truck “jammed with farm workers” – 41 passengers, plus the driver – ran a stop sign and pulled out in front of a truck loaded with vegetables. Clearly, the driver was at fault in the wreck, but no one has ever been able to say why he made such a terrible decision. Toxicology results indicated that the driver had not been drinking, nor was he under the influence of drugs. He was not speeding, and typical distractions like cellphones and other electronic devices were still decades from being invented.
Accident Causes Changes in the Law
At the time of the crash, it was legal to transport migrant workers in the back of a truck so long as the truck did not violate weight restrictions for the road on which it was traveling. The dozens of migrant workers crammed in the back of the truck came mostly from southern Florida and were being driven to bean fields in North Carolina to work.
The impact of the crash caused the truck walls to break, and several workers were flung onto the road. Others were caught between the two trucks involved in the crash, some being burned when one of the gas tanks caught fire. After the accident, laws were changed to protect the safety of workers being transported from one job site to another.
Talk to a North Carolina Truck Accident Attorney
A truck driver’s mistake can cause untold pain, injury, and death to innocent people. Hopefully, there will never again be a crash that claims as many lives as the “deadliest crash” did back in 1957. Still, fatal crashes happen regularly, and many life-changing, non-fatal truck accident injuries occur annually, as well. If you or a loved one has been impacted by a trucker’s negligence, the North Carolina truck accident legal team at Nagle & Associates can help. Call us at 800-411-1583 to schedule a free consultation of your truck accident case.
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