On the evening of Feb. 8, a tractor trailer bound for Granite City overturned, spilling 40,000 pounds of coal off an exit ramp onto Interstate 55-70 below. The complex car accidents that followed as the coal fell into traffic involved five vehicles and resulted in two passengers and one driver being treated at area hospitals for injuries that were reportedly not life-threatening. According to police, everyone involved was wearing seat belts.
Madison police and state police alike responded to the scene. Traffic backed up substantially while the debris was cleared from the interstate, which was closed for four hours. Police charged the 32-year-old driver of the Mack truck with failure to reduce speed and losing load, and two motorists, a 62-year-old from East St. Louis and a 19-year-old from Bartlett, were both charged with failure to reduce speed an avoid an accident.
Large vehicles such as tractor trailers require particular vigilance and careful handling in order to avoid overturning; taking a corner too quickly alone can cause a truck driver to lose control and spill a potentially hazardous load. Likewise, other motorists must be ready to respond quickly in the event that an accident occurs on an upcoming stretch of road. A distracted driver may be unable to apply his or her brakes in time to avoid an accident and may cause an additional collision as a result.
In a complex accident such as this, an accident investigation team may be required to establish the exact chain of events that led to injuries sustained by the victims. If a negligent driver is found to be the primary cause, he or she may be liable for damages. The injured parties may benefit from filing a personal injury claim with the help of an experienced lawyer to recover compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering as well as any property damage not covered by their insurance.
Source: BND.com, “3 charged after truck rolls over, spills coal,” Feb. 9, 2013