Large trucks pose a danger on the roads greater than other, smaller vehicles. Constructions vehicles on highways in California and across the country are prevalent in the summer months, during repairs and construction, heightening the threat of a tragic accident.
This was clearly the case in a recent California accident that involved a dump truck and a car carrying five teenagers. The truck apparently experienced brake failure as it was leaving an interstate freeway. In the absence of brakes to slow it down, the truck kept going until it ran into another vehicle.
The momentum of the moving truck -- which in addition to its own mass was carrying a load of wet cement – caused it to continue moving for some distance even after it hit the car with the teenagers inside. It pushed the car down an embankment, possibly rolling it over multiple times, and finally came to a complete stop with the car underneath it.
Two of the occupants of the passenger car died. The other three were injured, two of them seriously. It took about two hours for two heavy lift tow vehicles to get the truck off of the car, and for emergency rescue personnel to finally free the vehicle’s occupants from the wreckage.
The truck driver was not injured.
Trucking accidents often take place due to some reckless behavior, or negligence. In this case, an investigation can ultimately determine the cause of the failure of the commercial vehicle’s brakes.
If an investigation leads to the conclusion that negligent truck maintenance may have been involved in the lead-up to the brake failure, then the company may be subject to civil lawsuits by the surviving victims as well as the families of those who did not survive.
Source: NBC Los Angeles, "Dump Truck Crash Survivor Recalls Moments After Impact," Samia Khan and Tony Shin, June 26, 2014