Fatigue Contributes to Fiery Truck Wreck on I-10 Freeway

Fatigue Contributes to Fiery Truck Wreck on I-10 Freeway

courtesy of SBSUN

Almost nearly a year ago a horrific accident occurred on I-10 after a 2015 Mack cement pumper truck veered off the road and slammed through the center median barrier. The truck crashed into three cars on the other side of the highway, including a motorcycle. The impact from crashes like this are often so severe that other catastrophic reactions can happen. The impact from this crash forced these cars into a fourth vehicle which then caught on fire creating an inescapable situation; three drivers were killed.

Unfortunately in severe accidents like this it is impossible to ever understand the true toll that can be taken. This accident came to an end only after the semi-truck tipped over, landing on another car, killing both occupants. However given the protection that being in a several ton truck provides, the driver of the truck was not injured severely.

Recently the driver of the truck that caused this accident was charged with five counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. The injuries that resulted from this devastating freeway accident made it so that the officers couldn’t even identify the remains without dental records.

After an investigation by the California Highway Patrol it was found that the driver of this cement truck was fatigued at the time of this accident. This narrative as a cause of the accident matches up with an Analysis of Large Truck Rollover Crashes conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This specific study looked at 239 crashes where a truck rolled over. They found:

  • Almost half of rolled over trucks resulted from failing to adjust speed to curves in the road, the load being carried, condition of the brakes, road surface, and intersection conditions;
  • The next greatest major crash contributor was driver attentiveness: namely lack of attention, dozing or falling asleep, and distraction which lead to a situation where the response caused a rollover;
  • The third large crash contributor involved steering: over-correcting to the point of rolling over, or not steering enough to stay in the lane; and
  • The final major crash contributor found was the actual load the truck is hauling. It was found that often drivers are unfamiliar with the load, and how the differing weight, height can affect how they take turns and curves.

This analysis really provides good context for a great number of cases we see here at The Law Offices of Domingo Garcia, P.C. Many trucking companies have policies in place that indirectly incentivize truck operators to drive as long as possible. Drivers often are caught violating hours of service restrictions in order to try to deliver as many loads as fast as possible.

If you or a family member has been injured or killed as a result of an 18-wheeler accident, we encourage you to give our office a call. In these types of accidents it is important to really take a big picture view of the negligence, and ensure that proper action is taken so that not only the driver of the truck is held accountable, but also the owner of the trucking company. Driver mistakes are always preventable, and companies need to be held to a higher standard so they ensure their drivers are equipped to handle any crisis on the freeway.