St. Louis, MO- Two people were killed and 19 injured when a runaway log truck overturned and sent a load of logs hurling towards a road construction crew on an Arkansas bridge Monday.

According to a preliminary investigation, the brakes on the 1999 Peterbilt semi failed as it was traveling downhill. As it approached the bridge where crews were working, a left rear tire blew causing the driver to lose control; the vehicle then overturned and flung the logs in the direction of a construction zone of a bridge widening project.

One man, 51-year-old Hubert Keith Moore, was pronounced dead on the scene. Another man 40 year-old Ricardo Trochez died on his way to a local hospital, according to the Los Angeles Times.

An additional 19 people suffered serious injuries. At least three people had to be airlifted from the scene and five victims are listed in critical condition.

Two passing cars and two parked cars were also hit by the logs.

“They were like sitting ducks on the bridge,” Van Buren County Sheriff Scott Bradley explained to the Associated Press. “There was nowhere for them to run to get away from the logs.”

The driver of the truck, Jerry Hickman, 39, also suffered minor injuries but is not currently being charged for the tragic accident.

Although the results of the investigation are preliminary, it appears Hickman was not responsible for the accident. Even a very experienced driver with a solid safety record cannot prevent a truck accident if their brakes fail or a tire blows out. Depending on the results of the accident investigation, this could be the fault of the company or individual who owns the truck.

In fact, mechanical failure is the leading cause of truck accidents nationwide according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the most common mechanical problem accident involved trucks encounter is poorly maintained of failing brakes.

Although federal regulations have made commercial trucks safer, some trucking companies fail to properly maintain or repair their vehicles when necessary. By failing it maintain or repair their vehicles, trucking companies are putting their drivers and motorists at risk of being involved in a catastrophic injuries or death. Proving fault can be a difficult unless the victim has the help of a truck accident attorney well-versed in the complexities of commercial truck accidents.

When a deadly or injurious truck accident can be directly linked to mechanical failure, a trucking company is liable for any fatalities or injuries that occur. Truck accident injury claims are complex and for these suits to be successful and yield a generous settlement, the victims must enlist the services of a St. Louis truck accident attorney.

The settlement amount a truck accident victim receives depends on their ability to prove negligence and the evidence they present in court. A Missouri truck accident lawyer knows how to collect important evidence that will strengthen the validity of their client’s injury claim and assure they receive a settlement that covers all of their accident-related expenses.