If you drive northeast of Raleigh on Interstate 95 for 400 miles, you will arrive in Newark, Delaware. The home to the University of Delaware was also the site of a recent I-95 tractor-trailer crash that killed a young girl and man in a multi-vehicle series of violent collisions.
According to state police, a 39-year-old North Carolina truck driver failed to stop when traffic ahead of his big rig slowed due to congestion. The 18-wheeler slammed into the back of a small car, which sent that vehicle careening across multiple lanes. The driver of the car died at the scene, law enforcement officials said.
The large commercial truck kept going, striking two SUVs before it overturned and stopped with its wheels in the air, police said.
The SUVs went down an embankment. A 49-year-old woman driving one of the SUVs suffered serious injuries while a 9-year-old girl in the vehicle was hospitalized in critical condition. She died the next morning, a news report stated.
The driver of the other SUV and the trucker were both treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
An investigation into the cause of the fatal crashes has been launched.
Though we do not yet know why this tragedy happened, we do know that in many similar truck crashes one or more of the following have contributed:
- Fatigue: because truck drivers are so often on long hauls, many go without sufficient rest and sleep. Research shows that fatigue affects judgment, reaction times and the ability to concentrate.
- Distraction: drivers paying attention to their phones are increasingly causing motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities.
- Speed: excess speed dangerously reduces driver reaction time.
- Impairment: use of alcohol or drugs makes a person unable to operate a motor vehicle safely.
If you or a loved one has been harmed in an 18-wheeler crash, contact a Raleigh attorney experienced in personal injury litigation.