Tractor trailer accidents a deadly danger in North Carolina

A late night Oct. 24 Hendersonville multi-vehicle pile-up on I-26 claimed the lives of 5 people, the Times-News reports.

Nine cars and a tractor trailer were involved in the chain-reaction crash that began when the driver of a tractor-trailer smashed into a line of stopped cars. The 48-year-old truck driver is facing five felony counts of involuntary manslaughter. His bond has been set at $230,000.

According to the Time-News report, the trucking company the driver works for has been cited numerous times for traffic violations this year. Witnesses to the fatal North Carolina crash say the driver was speeding and driving erratically prior to the crash.

As our Greensboro trucking accidentlawyers have noted in an earlier post to our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer blog, in 2008, one in nine car accident fatalities – or 11 percent of all fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents – involved a large commercial truck.

Just in North Carolina there were 12,410 reported crashes involving single-unit trucks (either 2-axle and six tire or 3+ axle vehicles) and tractor trailers in 2008, causing 147 deaths and leaving 3,249 injured, the North Carolina Department of Transportation reports. Nationwide, more than 380,000 large trucks were involved in traffic accidents, killing 4,229 and injuring 90,000.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in more than 70 percent of accidents involving a commercial truck, those killed or injured were occupants of another vehicle. Large truck accidents are also far more likely to involve multiple vehicles and multiple fatalities as well.

In fact, earlier this week a 32-mile stretch of I-81 between Wytheville, Va. and the North Carolina state line was closed down for nine hours by authorities after three tractor-trailers and about 75 vehicles were involved in a massive wreck that killed two and sent 16 to area hospitals, the Roanoke Times reports. Fog is said to have been a major factor in Fancy Gap crash.

The Roanoke Times listed at least two other tractor-trailer wrecks since 2005 that included at least 50 vehicles and injured 15. The Fancy Gap area is “legendary” as a crash site, with nearly 275 car accidents reported from 2006 to 2008.

The North Carolina truck accident attorneys with Lee & Smith know that being involved in a serious or fatal accident can be devastating. We hope that if you are involved in a serious Carolina accident you will call us at 1-800-887-1965 or email our law offices to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.

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