As an experienced North Carolina trucking injury accident attorney who has reported on wrecks caused by debris falling from trucks, my thoughts are with the Whelan family.
While these kinds of freak accidents may seem rare, my colleagues and I have noted several similar instances. For instance, a woman narrowly avoided death when a plank from a truck smashed through the windshield of her car in Shelby, NC.
See the video taken by the driver
Recently, a piece of debris was left on I-40 in Davie County, NC, with fatal consequences. In this case the object was a small metal disc. With vehicles traveling 70 miles per hour and more, even a small object can be deadly. The disc was projected into the windshield of a passing SUV, struck the driver on the head and killed him.
These kinds of accidents can lead to lawsuits if highway debris ends up on the roads due to an improperly loaded tractor-trailer or pickup truck. In many cases the driver has failed to tie his cargo down properly or secure it correctly. As many as 90 deaths and 25,000 vehicle accidents a year are caused by debris on the road or by debris falling off of vehicles.
If a leaf spring falls off a dump truck this points to a poorly maintained vehicle, another possible cause of a wrongful death lawsuit. Our law firm's Carolina and Virginia (VA) truck accident injury attorneys have noted that poorly maintained vehicles are one of the top five causes of accidents involving trucks.
See our FAQ about the legal implications of loads falling off dump trucks.