It's not news to Missouri drivers--or to Kansas City truck accident attorneys--that collisions involving large trucks and tractor trailers often result in extensive damages, serious injuries and fatalities. The sheer size of these vehicles makes them especially dangerous to motorists on Missouri highways. It only takes a fraction of a second to make a poor choice that causes an accident, and when big trucks are involved, the stakes are automatically higher. We've seen many cases where what would seem like a minor error on the part of the truck driver causes disastrous results.
Recently, a Lake St. Louis man was killed in such an accident. 34 year-old Kyle David Brown was crossing the Champ Clark Bridge over the Mississippi River, traveling east, when a westbound tractor trailer hit one of the bridge's guardrails. The approaching truck was carrying logging equipment (described by police as "similar to an oversized forklift") that had been secured with safety chains. The impact of the guardrail collision caused those chains to snap: the logging equipment broke loose and fell into the eastbound lanes, directly into the path of Brown's BMW sport utility vehicle. Brown struck the equipment and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Since the collision occurred on the east side of Champ Clark Bridge, this accident was investigated by the Illinois State Police, who cited the truck driver for improper lane usage. Illinois Police Master Sgt. Jeff Schisler suggested that additional charges may be forthcoming, since the truck may have been too wide to cross the bridge legally. Vehicles weighing 80,000 pounds or less are allowed on the narrow Champ Clark Bridge, which includes most vehicles: only super loads and oversized vehicles must apply for special permits in order to use the bridge. The bridge is 83 years old and narrow, only about twenty feet wide.
The accident necessitated the closing of Champ Clark Bridge for approximately 6 hours, so that the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) could evaluate the condition of the bridge and ensure that it was safe for drivers. Travis Wombwell, bridge inspector for MoDOT, said, "We have made immediate repairs to get the bridge safely open, and we will make more permanent repairs within the next few months."
Brown was a husband and a father of two. He bore no fault for the accident: he and his family are victims in the truest sense of the word. A simple instance of improper lane usage on the part of the truck driver was the catalyst for this tragedy--the investigation will determine whether or not the truck was even legally free to cross the bridge in the first place.
At Aaron Sachs & Associates, we're extremely passionate about the rights and interests of accident victims. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Missouri trucking accident, call us at 1-888-777-AUTO and schedule a free initial consultation. We may be able to help.