The accident took place around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning on Route 222 as the morning commute was getting underway. The details surrounding the accident are not completely clear at this time, but it has been described by police and witnesses as “horrific.”
“One thing is for certain, there was a line of traffic that was stopping on this busy highway and this tractor-trailer basically plowed through and caused this,” said John Adams, Berks County District Attorney, according to NBC Philadelphia.
According to reports, a line of several cars were on Rt. 222 near the intersection of Route 73 when the tractor-trailer plowed into at least nine vehicles, tossing them aside like matchbox cars. The tractor-trailer came to rest after it pinned a car and SUV against a Dunkin’ Donuts sign, leaving a path of destruction behind.
Two people were killed and nine people were injured. The identities of those who were killed haven’t been released pending notification of family, but police said the two deceased individuals were occupants of the trapped vehicles.
“The tractor trailer was southbound on Route 222 and impacted some cars on the southbound side and then veered over and struck the two cars that were waiting to exit the parking lot,” Chief Scott Eaken, Northern Berks Regional Police Department told 69 News.
Police said that surveillance video from Dunkin’ Donuts indicates that the truck driver never attempted to brake prior to collision. Because it was a fatal accident, the truck driver was given a chemical test to determine if he was intoxicated at the time.
We can only speculate about the cause of this accident since the investigation is ongoing, but police told News 69 that speed could have played a role. Other possible causes could include fatigue, distraction or intoxication since these three risky behaviors lead to the majority of fatal truck and car accidents nationwide.
In a similar accident, which occurred in California in early July, mechanical failure was determined to be the cause. For that accident, a novice truck driver slammed into a line of cars outside Santa Cruz after traffic slowed. A total of 17 cars were involved and one person was killed. The driver told police he tried to avoid hitting the line of cars by steering his rig to the side but his brakes failed and he just couldn’t stop.
Those who have had the misfortune of being in a truck accident may be uncertain about what they need to do next. Their health or the health of a loved one is foremost in the minds of truck accident victims, but they have many other concerns like their bills and their destroyed property. These victims want to know that their medical bills will be covered by the at-fault truck driver or trucking company. By hiring a one our truck accident attorneys, victims can have confidence knowing someone is working tirelessly on their behalf and will do what is necessary to ensure they get a generous settlement.