A rear-end collision on Route 288 in Chesterfield County, Virginia (VA), set off a chain reaction of crashes that left a man behind the wheel of a pickup truck dead. The fatal multivehicle accident occurred near the interchange with Hull Street on April 6, 2015. According to a state police press release quoted by Richmond-area television station WTVR, "A 2006 Ford pickup was stopped the left travel lane when a 2008 Freightliner tractor-trailer approached and struck the pickup pushing it into a 2011 Peterbilt, after striking the trailer of the Peterbilt the pickup veered right and struck a 2014 Subaru Outback, both the pickup and the Subaru came to rest on the right shoulder."
The pickup driver died at the scene, but no one in either of the tractor-trailers or the car suffered injuries requiring medical attention. Police charged the trucker in the big rig who started the series of crashes by rear-ending the pickup with reckless driving.
Any time a commercial truck hits a smaller vehicle, the potential for disabling and fatal injuries exists. Truckers, therefore, have high legal, professional and ethical obligations to drive as cautiously and attentively as possible. Even the briefest of distractions or the slightest miscalcutation of safe speed, proper following distance or necessary stopping time can set the stage for a collision that one or more people never walk away from.
Having helped dozens of victims of wrecks involving tractor-trailers, I have seen too many times how devastating those kinds of traffic accidents can be. I send my deepest condolences out to the friends and family members of the man killed in central Virginia, along with my wish that other commercial drivers who learn of the tragedy will take the sad news as a lesson to operate as safely as they can.