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Tractor Trailer Accident Leaves One Dead, Passengers Injured

It's a tangled mess that has left one person dead and two others injured following a two-vehicle accident involving a FedEx tractor trailer Thursday afternoon on Interstate 81 North in Berkeley County near the Virginia (VA) state line.  There are many questions surrounding the wreck. 

We don't know much about what caused this auto accident, but we do know somehow a vehicle went up under one of the trailers.  The driver of the four-door Toyota Corolla passenger car involved in the wreck was found dead at the scene.  Two passengers in the same car were injured, including a female passenger and a child.  The passengers' conditions were not immediately known but we wish them quick recovery.  We don't know yet if the driver and the passengers were related.  But our thoughts go out to driver's family.  The cause of the accident is currently under investigation.

Now on the surface, car and truck accidental injuries might seem similar. A driver makes a mistake, the brakes squeal and then the metal crunching crash.  You might think, "It shouldn't matter whether a truck or any other vehicle caused the accident and personal injuries." However, there are some key differences between a car accident and truck crash. Here are just a few:

Trucks (sometimes called "big rigs," semi's, 18 wheelers, or tractor-trailers) weigh considerably more than cars, and can therefore cause considerably more damage, and more serious personal injuries or deaths. While the average American car weighs just over 4,000 pounds, a fully loaded
commercial tractor-trailer can weight up to 80,000 pounds. This means that they are harder to slow down, harder to control, and make a much bigger impact when they crash. You are more likely to become seriously injured or die in a truck-related collision just like in this case.

Trucks are not driven by private individuals, but rather by employees, in this case Fed Ex. This makes it much more difficult to ascertain who was liable for the accident and whose insurance company should cover the damages. Often one company will hire the driver, another company will own the cab, and a third company will own the trailer and contents. Figuring out whose actions are to blame and who should compensate is very muddled and complicated. Commercial semis are like small rolling businesses - and it can be much harder to go into a legal battle with a company than with an individual.

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