A tractor-trailer driver who failed to stop at a major intersection in Granville County, North Carolina (NC), caused a chain-reaction crash that left an older daughter and her mother daughter dead. The fatal big rig crash occurred on the morning of May 18, 2015, where U.S. 158 crosses NC 96 in the town of Oxford.
After running the red light, the semi struck one vehicle and injured its driver. The tractor-trailer then proceeded forward and crashed into a second car and pushed it into a guardrail. The women in that second car died.
The trucker who caused the deadly crash now faces criminal changes, but it is unclear why he could not come to a stop before entering the highway intersection. Investigators will have to determine whether he was traveling at an unsafe speed, had become distracted and unable to see the stop signal, or impaired by fatigue from driving too many hours or from using drugs or alcohol. Whatever the underlying reason, the red light-running wreck left one innocent person struggling to recover from injuries and a family mourning the preventable deaths of two loved ones.
Stopping a tractor-trailer requires time, attention and skill. Small lapses in attention or minor impairments can leave commercial truckers unable to take the actions necessary to avoid harming other people on the road. Few people in cars survive wrecks with semis without suffering serious and debilitating injuries. Many victims do not survive at all. Big rig operators must remain alert and physically capable of keeping the trucks under control at all times.