The driver of an Audi A4 was exiting the Garden State Parkway and going onto Route 78 when he drove into the path of the fuel tanker. That truck slammed into his car, and both vehicles then crashed into a big rig carrying mulch in the express lane.
The fuel tanker and tractor trailer veered off the express lane and then the fuel truck became lodged on the concrete barrier. About 9000 gallons of fuel spilled from the tanker and caught fire.
The driver of the Audi died at the scene. The driver of the fuel truck suffered critical injuries as he smashed out the windshield of the burning vehicle and narrowly escaped death.
The mulch truck driver suffered minor injuries and was released yesterday from a nearby hospital.
The crash investigation is ongoing.
Our work as truck accident personal injury attorneys in Virginia means that we see a lot of tragic crashes involving big rigs. In many cases, the fault lies with the driver of the truck and/or the trucking company, such as this case we settled for $450,000 when two big rigs collided in Virginia. But it could be in the case above that the car driver was to blame. Time will tell. But in the meantime, all of us should remember to drive with great caution on the freeways, especially near tractor trailers.
Big rigs, semi's, all tractor-trailers weigh tons, vastly more than a typical car. Therefore, when traveling at 55 or even 70 mph, the damage from these types of truck versus car wrecks can be catastrophic. It is for this reason that interstate trucking companies must carry far more insurance by federal law. As a matter fact, at the current time legislative efforts are underway to force interstate trucking companies to have higher limits of liability insurance. Is unclear if Congress will raise the minimum limits but these accidents can easily cost millions of dollars of damage in property and personal injury claims.