Big Rig Plunges off Overpass and Catches Fire
A truck driver has died when his semitrailer rig veered off an interchange overpass on Interstate 30 then crashed and burned on the road below near Dallas on Saturday afternoon.
The police said in a statement that Saturday’s crash happened at the Interstate 30 interchange with the President George Bush Turnpike in Grand Prairie. The semi-truck had been travelling westbound on I-30 when it veered off the right shoulder, slamming through both a guardrail and retaining wall. At 4:03 p.m., the rig plunged at highway speed onto the turnpike below and burst into flames.
Footage released on Monday show how the truck and trailer narrowly missed other motorists on the highway. Some drivers slammed on their brakes while others quickly took the nearest exit to avoid the fiery crash. Some drivers stopped, got out of their cars attempting to assist the driver. Police officers were also quickly on the scene of the accident. Unfortunately, all assistance was forced back from the intensity of the flames that engulfed the cab.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office has identified the victim and driver of the 18-wheeler as James Anthony Long, 59, of Clarksville, Tennessee. The cause of Long’s death is currently still under investigation.
The Bush Turnpike was closed for several hours at the I-30 intersection while the debris from the accident was cleared and new barriers were reinstalled.
Accidents involving 18-wheelers can be both terrifying and even deadly. National statistics show that each year thousands of motorists are either critically injured or killed in accidents involving big rigs. Many of the accidents involving 18-wheel tractor trailers are due to the negligent operation of drivers. Their weight and size make them difficult to handle, and can put the driving public in considerable danger on our highways. Motorists who drive passenger cars have a clear disadvantage against large commercial trucks.
There can be many causes of accidents involving big rigs such as driver inexperience, driver distraction or driver fatigue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov) has imposed strict hours of service laws nationwide. The State of Texas has similar guidelines that govern the driving hours of long haul truck drivers. The hours of service rules put out by the FMCSA outline how long drivers can safely operate their tractor trailers in a single day. Sometimes, however, there are truck drivers who will break those laws in order to just try to make a living. Some trucking companies will routinely give drivers unrealistic deadlines to go over very long distances where going against the hours of operation rules is almost a requirement.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a big rig or 18-wheel tractor trailer, give our offices a call. Our attorneys will take the time to meet with you to the details of your case and will outline several options for your particular case. Medical costs, long term treatment and rehabilitation and ongoing expenses can all be a part of your accident claim. We are here to help you. Give us a call today. Your initial consultation with our law offices is confidential, free, and without obligation.