Louisville, KY- Former Giants free-agent JoJo Nicolas was excited about his upcoming birthday, but what was supposed to be a kick-off celebration ended tragically after he collided with a tractor-trailer outside of Miami Beach Tuesday night.

According to various sources, Nicolas, 24, was leaving Miami Beach when he crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer. His Lexus became wedged under the tractor trailer and rescue workers had to pry the roof of his car off to get him out of the wreckage, the Miami Herald reported.

He was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, and was fighting for his life, but Thursday morning he succumbed to his injuries.

The accident tied up the highway outside of Miami Beach for several hours. The truck driver has not been cited.

Police spokesperson said they are trying to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role in the devastating crash.

Nicolas played for the University of Miami and was drafted as a free-agent for the Giants in 2012, but was let go from the team this past August. His death prompted an outpouring of sympathy from former teammates, friends and fans.

In this particular accident, it does not appear that the truck driver was at fault, but it does highlight how deadly an underride truck accident can be and makes a convincing case for stronger undderide guards and regulations.

Underride guards on semis and tractor-trailers are primarily effective in preventing underride accidents, but according to the Institute for Highway Safety they don’t protect all motorists. A fatality is most likely to result from an underride accident is the cars slides under the rear of a tractor trailer either to the left or right side. And on many trucks underride guards are weak, rusty, bent and not well-maintained; a decaying or malfunctioning underride guard provides no protection at all motorists and could lead to serious injury or death.

In the U.S. tractor-trailers are not required to have side underride guards, they are only mandatory for the rear.  Going under a tractor trailer from the side is just as deadly as going under the rear. The IHS has recommended that side underride guards be mandatory for all tractor-trailers in the country.

At Isaacs and Isaacs we have helped truck accident victims in Louisville, Lexington and Indianapolis get favorable settlements for their injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one. We have a host of medical and accident reconstruction experts at our disposal and conduct a comprehensive investigation to assure your injury case is successful and you receive a favorable settlement.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one you can rely on the staff and personal injury attorneys to devote their time, energy and knowledge to your case. They will use their litigation experience to make certain your rights are respected and your settlement is just. Call one of their offices in Louisville, Lexington or Indianapolis to set up a consultation.