As we discussed in a recent article on our website, there are no other vehicles on Missouri roads that can compare with the sheer size and power of a tractor-trailer. For that reason, accidents involving tractor-trailers are often serious or fatal, no matter what type of other vehicle is involved.
Over the weekend, it was reported that comedian and actor Tracy Morgan was traveling in a limo bus when it was struck from behind by a semi-truck. Sadly, one of the passengers was killed and former Saturday Night Live star Morgan was seriously injured. Other passengers sustained injuries as well.
According to reports, the group was on their way home from a comedy show around 1 a.m. Saturday when they reached traffic that had slowed on the New Jersey Turnpike. For an unknown reason, an approaching semi-truck did not slow down until just before reaching the Mercedes limo bus.
At the last second, the truck driver reportedly attempted to swerve to miss the limo bus, but it was too late and the tractor-trailer made contact with the back of it, causing it to turn and flip over. There were four other vehicles that were involved in the accident as well.
Even though the limo bus was a large vehicle, the force behind the powerful semi-truck flipped it like a toy car. Although many of us drive cautiously near semi-trucks for this reason, cases like this show that there sometimes isn't much a driver can do to get out of a semi's destructive path.
For that reason, federal highway officials heavily-regulate the trucking industry in effort to prevent accidents caused by unsafe drivers or trucks, but they continue to occur when truck drivers and trucking companies violate the rules.
In the wake of this tragic accident, it was reported that the truck driver hadn't slept in 24 hours prior to the crash, which is against federal law.
Undoubtedly, the truck driver and his employer could potentially face civil liability in personal injury lawsuits filed by the victims. The driver has also been criminally charged.
Source: CNN, "Police: Driver charged in Tracy Morgan crash was awake 24 hours," Kevin Conlon and Doug Ganley, June 9, 2014