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Dual Truck Wrecks on I-81 In Tennessee Kills One, Hospitalizes Another Driver

On most Mondays, motorists are generally annoyed with their daily commute and wishing for the calm and the slower pace of the weekends. While driver annoyance is manageable, there are some weeks where, for whatever reason, commuters and other drivers are not on top of their game. They may be distracted, fatigued, or simply not paying attention to the other vehicles and potential hazards on the road. When these circumstances are present, the risk for an accident increases significantly. In some cases, the behaviors and driving practices of motorists may be so deficient that multiple accidents occur in close geographic and temporal proximity.

Unfortunately for motorists in Tennessee, their Monday commute was extremely difficult. Multiple crashes on I-81, snarled traffic on the commute. Multiple wrecks forced drivers to swerve to avoid road hazards and served as a reminder that accidents involving large trucks often produce serious and potentially fatal injuries.

First Accident Involved Overturned Chevy Tahoe

The western terminus of I-81 begins in Tennessee at the junction with I-40 in Dandridge, Tennessee. Drivers can travel westbound on I-81 through Maryland and Kentucky. In all, I-81 is an 855-mile (1,376 km) long expressway. I-81 travels through Pennsylvania and other states on its way to the Canadian border near Fishers Landing, New York. As such, both short-distance commuter traffic and long-distance freight and commercial traffic share the road on I-81. While these vehicles can safely share the road, differences in maneuverability, size, and other factors can result in crashes.

The first crash on I-81 involved a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe. Due to reasons that are not entirely clear, the driver lost control of the SUV. She veered into the median before the vehicle flipped and rolled. The truck would strike a tree before coming to rest. The driver of the vehicle was airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport. Unfortunately, the injuries sustained by the driver were so severe that she passed away at the medical center.

Second I-81 Accident Involved Three Heavy Trucks

Roughly 30 minutes later and approximately one mile down the highway, a second serious accident occurred. According to police reports, vehicles came to a stop on the highway. It is unclear if these vehicles came to a stop due to traffic from the earlier crash, but it is probably safe to assume that the aftermath of the first accident distracted at least some motorists.

In any case, he driver of a 2010 Freightliner tractor-trailer, failed to stop, setting in motion a chain reaction. The Freightliner rear-ended a Peterbuilt truck. The Peterbuilt was pushed into a 2016 Volvo tractor-trailer. The Volvo was, in turn, pushed into an SUV driven by a commuter.

Three of these drivers were taken to the hospital to treat injuries sustained in the accident. One of the drivers was described as suffering “very serious” injuries.

Why Do Trucking Accidents Occur?

Each and every accident is unique and a product of the individual circumstances present at the time of the accident. Some accidents are caused by fatigued or distracted drivers. Both fatigue and distractions can delay reaction time and prevent the operator of a motor vehicle from taking timely and appropriate action. Similarly, the use of drugs, alcohol, and other intoxicating substances can lead to inappropriate or even dangerous actions.

In other cases, operator error is not to blame for the accident. Rather, failures to perform required maintenance or pressure to subvert FMCSA safety rules can also increase the chances of a serious crash. When trucking firms fail to perform sufficient maintenance of tires or brakes, equipment failure becomes far more likely. The failure to use required tie-downs and anchors to secure cargo can allow cargo to shift during transit.

Injured in a Crash with a Commercial Truck?

To schedule a free and confidential consultation with the lawyers of Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team , please call (215) 246-9000 or contact us online

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