Fatal Tractor Trailer Versus Van Crash in New Jersey

Three people were killed the morning of April 12 after a tractor-trailer carrying a large load collided with their van and caught fire. According to a report in NJ.com, the fiery truck accident occurred at the intersection of Route 1 near Ridge Road in South Brunswick. The force of the impact caused the van to hit two other vehicles and both, the van and the tractor-trailer traveled another 100 yards north of the intersection before catching fire, police said.

Ongoing Investigation

ABC7 in New York reported that all three victims killed in the crash were occupants of the van and that the truck involved in the crash was carrying pre-fabricated walls. Video footage from the scene showed a black and yellow sign fastened to the back of the truck saying “Oversize Load.” The news station also reported that the flames from the fire were so intense that a portion of the highway pavement was scorched and would need to be repaired.

A spokesperson for Community Options Inc., a local nonprofit that operates an adult day care center, confirmed to NJ.com that the three crash victims who were in the transport van included a staff member who was driving the vehicle. Two people with disabilities were passengers, according to the spokesperson. The Princeton-based organization provides housing and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. We offer our deepest condolences to the families of those who were killed in this tragic crash. The investigation is ongoing.

Why Tractor Trailer Accidents Occur

A number of factors can lead to tractor-trailer accidents including:

  • Driver error: Factors such as fatigue, speeding, aggressive driving, and lack of experience or training can contribute to such accidents.
  • Mechanical failure: Issues with brakes, tires, steering systems, or other mechanical components can lead to truck accidents. Poor maintenance practices or defective parts can increase the risk of mechanical failure.
  • Improper loading: Incorrectly loaded or overloaded trailers can affect stability and handling, increasing the risk of accidents, especially during sudden maneuvers or braking.
  • Distracted driving: Distractions such as using cell phones, eating, adjusting the radio, or interacting with onboard technology can divert a driver’s attention from the road, leading to accidents.
  • Driver fatigue: Long hours of driving without adequate rest can impair a driver’s reaction time, judgment, and concentration, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Federal hours of service (HOS) rules set forth regulations regarding how long drivers of commercial vehicles can be on the road without taking breaks.
  • Driving under the influence: Operating a tractor-trailer under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication can impair judgment, coordination, and reaction time, significantly increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Inadequate training: Insufficient training on handling a tractor-trailer, navigating various road conditions, or responding to emergencies can contribute to accidents. Proper training is crucial for ensuring safe driving practices. A trucking company/owner can be held accountable for the negligent (careless) hiring and retention of its drivers or not training them properly to do their jobs.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

Victims who have been injured in truck accidents may be able to seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families of deceased accident victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as lost future income, funeral costs, medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent or careless driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.

For over 52 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $2,550,000 for a victim of a truck accident, and $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and $2,000,000 in a hit-and-run accident, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury, lead poisoning and medical malpractice cases including, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) and cerebral palsy cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

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Source: https://www.nj.com/middlesex/2024/04/fiery-crash-in-nj-closes-route-1-in-both-directions.html