A six-vehicle chain-reaction crash on I-77 through Chester County, South Carolina (SC), left an 82-year-old car passenger dead and 11 survivors hospitalized with injuries that ranged from life-threatening to minor. The September 1, 2016, deadly wreck began with a tractor-trailer hitting a car from behind in a work zone near the town of Richburg.
The force of the impact from the initial rear-end collision sent the car forward into the line of vehicles in front of it. The deceased passenger was riding in that car. One of the surviving passengers from another car was a toddler thrown from his parent's car while still strapped into his car seat.
The at-fault semi driver sheared away from the car he hit, ran across the interstate median and collided with a second commercial truck. The two big rigs burst into flames, and one other vehicle on the opposite side of I-77 wound up tangled in the burning wreckage.
The cause of this fatal accident does not appear to be in doubt. A tractor-trailer driver failed to recognize that traffic ahead of him was slowing down and, then, found himself unable to reduce his own speed in time to prevent a tragedy. He may have been speeding or distracted, but the basic problem is that he did not give himself the time and distance required to brake sufficiently. The victims of his negligence likely have strong grounds for filing personal injury and wrongful death claims.
Those claims can move forward even though the at-fault truck driver also died in the wreck. Insurance policies remain in effect until legitimate claims are settled. The crash victims may also be able to seek compensation and damage payments from the company that employed the truck driver. Speaking with a knowledgeable Carolina truck accident attorney will help them understand their options.