Highway 63 just south of Columbia MO was the scene of not one, but two car crashes on June 1st. Columbia Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers were particularly concerned to hear about the larger accident, which was a multi vehicle involving one tractor trailer and three unlucky passenger vehicles.
Amazingly enough, the six people who were sent to University Hospital as a result of this wreck had no serious or critical injuries, instead they ranged from mild to moderate. As reported by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the victims were Lylvester Franklin, 25; Latavia Franklin, 1; Marybell Garcia, 32; Janice Palmer, 62; and Amber Splitter, 30. A second, unnamed child was also taken to the hospital but not treated. They are lucky indeed to be alive.
The first accident took place at Deer Park Road, just before 4 p.m. The next one happened less than fifteen minutes after the first, at Route H near Columbia Regional Airport.
Columbia Personal Injury Lawyers were not surprised to learn that one of the causative factors in the second accident was the backed up traffic emanating from the first accident. Highway obstructions such as construction and accidents that clog traffic are frequent contributors to more accidents.
It appears that the driver of a tractor-trailer heading north on Highway 63 somehow failed to notice that traffic had come to a dead halt on the highway--and she struck three vehicles. Not only were they forced off the road, all three were totaled. The tractor-trailer also received major damage.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Gary Gundy said that the driver of the tractor trailer, Pearl Anderson of Pine Bluff, Ark, was issued a summons for careless and imprudent driving.
"She said that she was just thinking about what she was going to do when she dropped off the load," Gundy said. "She wasn't paying attention. She was lost in her thoughts and when she realized what was going on, she was already on the traffic that was slowing."
Tractor trailers and other big rigs take much longer to stop than other vehicles, because of their bulk and weight, so if the driver is not paying attention and needs to come to a sudden stop, it is all but impossible. Nothing is yet known as to whether the driver was fatigued, not paying close enough attention, or engaging in distracted driving.
According to the American Trucking Association, the average semi truck with a trailer can range from a "lightweight" 12,000 pounds to a staggering 80,000 pounds. This is up to 25 times the weight of the average automobile, or even 40 times more than some of the current compact cars on the road.
Although we repeatedly advocate defensive driving, there certainly was nothing any of the passenger vehicle drivers could have done to protect themselves in this instance. It is fortunate indeed that they weren't as badly injured as their vehicles were!
Judging from the reported facts, it seems that the driver of the tractor trailer is clearly at fault, and that this will be a simple, open and shut case. However, Columbia Tractor Trailer Accident Attorneys know that multi vehicle accidents are notoriously complicated, because of the number of claimants, attorneys, the truck company, the truck driver, and various insurance companies.
Obviously, one of the main goals of a trucking company's insurance carrier is to award as little in damages as possible. Unfair, yes, but that is the way it is. In a case like this one, it is never in anyone's best interests to accept an insurance company's settlement offer without consulting a Columbia Truck Accident Attorney.