According to NJ.com, the chain-reaction accident occurred at 9:00 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike when the driver of a Freightliner semi slowed for traffic. The driver of Peterbilt semi failed to notice the truck in front him had slowed and rear-ended the first truck.
The driver of a third truck, also a Freightliner, didn’t see the two disabled trucks and slammed into the rear of the second truck. The third truck jackknifed, struck a guardrail and burst into flames, according to NJ.com.
The driver of the third truck, who has been identified as Timothy Bowen of Delaware, was killed. The other two truck drivers were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Police are still investigating the accident and have cited anyone at this time.
Rear-end accidents involving cars or semi-trucks are among the most common accident types and can do extensive damage to a vehicle. While some victims can walk-away from rear-end truck accidents with a minor injury or no injury at all, more often than not these accidents can result in fatal or debilitating injuries. When a rear-end accident is caused by a large commercial truck, the medical costs the victim incurs can be astronomical. If an accident is not their fault they have reason to expect fair compensation and a truck accident attorney will make certain that happens.
An inability to stop quickly is the primary cause of rear-end collisions and is usually exacerbated by inattention or speed. Either the driver is traveling to fast for road conditions without taking into account the flow of traffic, the driver is distracted and not aware that traffic has slowed in front of them or they are following the vehicle in front of them too closely.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates the approximately 42,000 rear-end truck accidents happen on an annual basis. These accidents result in in over 23,000 injuries and over 700 deaths per year.
The weight and size of large commercial trucks make them far more difficult to stop so drivers need to leave a safe distance between their vehicles and other motorists. If a driver fails to maintain a safe traveling distance and they cause and accident, they can be held liable for the damage their negligence causes to person or property.
With most truck accidents, the trucking company who owns the involved vehicle, is responsible for compensating the victims. These companies have a team of insurance adjusters and attorneys working to limit their liability. A truck accident victim can find themselves at a disadvantage if they don’t have legal counsel and may not get the settlement amount the need. When a victim enlists the service or a truck accident attorney, they exponentially increase their chances of being fairly compensated for their injuries and any loss of wages they experience.