Three people were killed in a crash along Interstate 65 in Robertson County, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol. The fatal collision happened around 7:30 p.m. on I-65 northbound near mile marker 119, close to the Tennessee-Kentucky line. Highway Patrol said two semi-trucks and a Nissan Versa were involved and the three who died were traveling in the Nissan.  All of the victims were from Kentucky, identified as 58-year-old Michael Posey, 53-year-old Shirley Posey and 53-year-old Robin Cofer. The first semi-truck was traveling northbound in the lane closest to the median. The Nissan and second semi-truck were both traveling southbound on I-65. The second semi-truck hit the back of the Nissan, causing the vehicle to go off the road, into the median and back into the first lane. The first semi-truck then hit the Nissan’s front end, causing both to go off the roadway on the left side and come to a rest in the median.

Truck accidents.

A total of 4,136 people died in large truck crashes in 2018. Sixteen percent of those deaths were truck occupants, 67 percent were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, and 15 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists. Fault often falls on the driver of the truck, including common violations such as speeding, tailgating, driving while intoxicated, driving while tired or recklessly driving, and there are times when accidents occur because of illness, road conditions and bad weather conditions.

State and federal laws.

Tennessee Statute TCA § 55-7-203(b)(3) restricts commercial vehicles weight to no more than 80,000 pounds and they must be no wider than 8 feet and no taller than 13 ½ feet.  The size and weight of a truck increase the possibility of death, and severe injury. A typical tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, compared to passenger vehicle weighing about 3,000 or 4,000 pounds. A truck’s braking capability is a factor in accidents because a loaded tractor-trailer needs about 20-40%  more distance to stop than a passenger car, and the distance is increased when roadways are wet and slippery, or brakes have not been maintained. TCA § 55-50-403 ensures employees have current CDL licenses, and valid medical cards stating drivers are medically fit to drive. Tennessee follows federal guidelines for all commercial motor vehicles, subject to regulations of  49 C.F.R. part 387, regarding insurance in an amount equivalent to the minimum levels of financial responsibility set forth in the regulations.

Seek legal counsel.

If you,or someone you love was injured, or died due to a truck accident, call an experienced truck accident attorney  in Tennessee to assist with a wrongful death action. A strong case may require an expert accident reconstructionist and a review of a trucking company’s documentation to determine negligence.

Sources:

https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/SASStoredProcess/guest

https://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/large-trucks/fatalityfacts/large-trucks

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