A head-on collision between a tractor-trailer and a dump truck shortly before sunrise on June 6, 2014, on Highway 17 near Old Jacksonboro Road in Ravenel, South Carolina (SC), sent both drivers to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police continued investigating and reconstructing the accident through the weekend. Initial findings indicate the semi truck driver lost control of his big rig before slamming into the other vehicle as it was parked in the median of the four-lane divided rural highway southwest of Charleston.
The timing of the wreck should raise investigators’ suspicion that the commercial truck driver failed to stay on the road because he fell asleep at the wheel. Despite recently enacted state and federal restrictions on how many hours semi operators can drive during a shift, a 24-hour period and over a week, fatigue remains a major risk factor for crashes involving tractor-trailers. Other causes such as a medical emergency, equipment failure, actions of other drivers near the semi and road conditions must also be considered.
Regardless of what led the tractor-trailer to hit the dump truck, the resulting injuries cannot be undone. Commercial truck drivers and the companies that employ them have high legal and ethical responsibilities for operating safely. As Carolina personal injury lawyers who have helped hundreds of victims of accidents caused by trucks that were driven or maintained negligently, we know that even the smallest mistake, distraction or bit of missed maintenance can cause accidents that take or negatively change lives forever.
We wish both injured truck drivers speedy and full recoveries. At the same time, we hope the individual or corporation ultimately responsible for the head-on collision is identified and held accountable.