December 13, 2010

Family of Cyclist Killed in Baltimore Truck Accident Settles for $5 Million

A case stemming from a 2009 Baltimore accident between a tanker truck and a bicyclist has settled for $5 million, according to The Baltimore Sun. In August of 2009, a 67-year-old bicyclist was riding behind a tanker truck when the truck made a right turn. The bicyclist got caught in the truck’s rear wheels and was killed. The family of the bicyclist sued the truck driver and his employer for $5 million for a wrongful death.

However, investigators found that the bicyclist was at-fault in the crash. An attorney for the family called the investigation “"one of the sloppiest investigations in a fatality that I personally have seen in years."

The truck driver did not stop at the scene of the accident, and no charges were filed against him. Investigators believe that the driver was not aware that the accident had even taken place. The truck driver was located when police discovered the truck at his employer’s service yard and it matched a video of the truck from a nearby surveillance camera. DNA was lifted from the vehicle that matched the bicyclist’s.

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May 20, 2010

How to Drive Safely Around Large Trucks

No motorist sharing the road with tractor-trailer drivers can make the trip entirely safe. However, there are safety tips that motorists can utilize to help avoid a collision with a large truck. Tractor-trailers can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Differences in visibility, maneuverability, and braking distances all make the rules for large trucks different than those for drivers of passenger cars. However, passenger car drivers can significantly increase their risk of a truck accident unless they follow a few simple rules for sharing the road safely.

  1. Respect a truck’s blind spots. Trucks usually have large blind spots directly behind and in front of them, as well as on each side. Some trucks even post a diagram on the back of the trailer showing which zones to avoid. To maximize the chance a truck driver will see you, always stay where you can see the truck driver or the truck’s mirrors.

  2. Do not brake suddenly in front of a truck. Trucks need considerably more space to stop than passenger vehicles. Always leave plenty of room between your car and a truck. If you are passing a truck, wait until you can see the truck’s entire front end in your mirrors before you move into the lane in front of the truck.

  3. Never tailgate a truck. The back of most commercial tractor-trailers is so high that the hood of most passenger cars will pass beneath it. This deprives you of the safety provided by your car’s “crumple zones” and puts the point of impact on the windshield, directly in front of your face. Always leave plenty of space between your car and the truck in front of you. This space gives you room to stop and makes it easier for you to see upcoming hazards, as well as for the truck driver to see you.

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March 30, 2010

Semi Kills Husband, Seriously Injures Wife

On February 26, 2010 at approximately 11:20 p.m., a semi traveling along I-95 struck a husband and wife standing on the side of the interstate. According to a Baltimore Sun article, the couple had been traveling in separate vehicles along the highway when they pulled over and exited along the side of the highway. Investigators are unclear as to why the couple pulled over.

Based on the article, the 38-year-old husband, driving a Dodge Charger, exited his vehicle and reportedly went to meet his 39-year-old wife who was standing outside of her Dodge Durango along the northbound lanes of I-95 in Harford County. State police report that a tractor-trailer drove by and struck the couple while they stood together on the side of the roadway.

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January 20, 2009

Teenager Dies in Car versus Dump Truck Accident on Jefferson Pike

Kaitlyn Wilson, 17, was killed in a car versus dump truck collision in Jefferson, Maryland, on November 5, 2008, according to this Gazette news article. Kaitlyn was a passenger in a Honda Civic driven by another 17-year-old, who suffered serious injuries, but survived. Police say the girls were traveling north of Holter Road and the dump truck was heading east on Route 180 when they collided. People who saw the horrific accident say the teenagers were trapped inside, but firefighters quickly extricated them from the vehicle.

According to the article, criminal charges are pending against the 17-year-old driver who police say did not stop at a red light at Jefferson Pike (Route 180). The car then ended up colliding with a State Highway Administration dump truck that was traveling east on Route 180. The dump truck was on top of the front passenger side of the Civic and had crushed Kaitlyn. Both the occupants of the dump truck suffered only minor or non life threatening injuries. Officials also said speed and alcohol were not factors in this Maryland automobile crash.

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January 15, 2009

Howard County Bus versus Big Rig Accident Injures Seven

Seven people were injured in a Howard County bus versus tractor trailer crash on southbound U. S. Route 1, according to this Associated Press news report. The crash occurred at Dorsey Road in Elkridge, officials said. The driver of the tractor trailer apparently attempted to make a wide turn into a gas station from the left lane and hit the Howard County transit bus in the process.

It is indeed fortunate that this serious truck crash did not result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Based solely on the facts presented in the AP Report, it appears that the driver of the tractor trailer may not have been paying attention to the bus as he made that turn into the gas station. If this turns out to be the case, the truck driver as well as the trucking company may be held responsible for the accident and injuries caused to the bus driver and passengers.

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