Virginia Firefighter Killed in Tractor Trailer Accident

By Peter DePaolis

A Northern Virginia firefighter died when the tractor-trailer he was driving crashed head-on into another oncoming tractor-trailer. They were both traveling on a stretch of interstate 64 where there is only one lane open in each direction. The other truck fell into the median and crossed into the firefighter’s lane. The accident cut off the cab of the firefighter’s truck, causing it to fall 150 feet into a river. The firefighter died at the scene, and authorities charged the driver of the other truck with reckless driving.

Just a few weeks before this truck accident, there was a massive group of accidents on another Virginia highway due to heavy fog and the resulting decreased visibility. Drivers had difficulty seeing beyond 30 feet, yet at least two tractor-trailer drivers continued to drive at speeds that did not provide them with enough time to avoid slamming into cars in front of them or flipping over when they attempted to quickly maneuver.

The traits of tractor-trailers combined with negligent driving can make trucks dangerous on roadways. With some trucks weighing up to 80,000 pounds, they take, on average, 40% longer than an automobile to come to a stop. In wet conditions and inclement weather, they can take even more time. If truck drivers have to turn suddenly, trucks may jackknife, which is when the front cab of the truck is at a sharp angle to the rear trailer. The force of the trailer will continue to push the entire truck forward, and the driver will no longer be able to control the truck.

Victims of negligent truck driving may wish to consult a Northern Virginia truck accident attorney. For more information on dangerous truck driving and on receiving compensation for injuries suffered in truck accidents, contact Peter DePaolis, a Northern Virginia personal injury attorney, at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.