Tanker Truck Driver Dies After Clipping Pickup on Highway

After more than two decades of error-free service, a 68-year-old driver of a tanker truck died recently when his tanker truck clipped the back of a parked pickup on the highway, according to the Fayetteville Observer.

For about 25 years he drove N.C. 87, the highway between Fayetteville and South Carolina twice a day, five days a week and had never had an accident that he reported to his employer.

Just before dawn, the driver had loaded his truck with 7,800 gallons of diesel fuel in Fayetteville and was headed to South Carolina. Our truck accident lawyers in Rock Hill, S.C. know there are many reasons for trucking accident. Including unsafe drivers and unsafe loads. In this case, fault may also lie with owner of the abandoned vehicle. However, there was a disable 1988 Chevrolet pickup truck parked to the left. State troopers said about 18 inches of the truck protruded into the road. The truck driver clipped the truck then, according to the police, hit the brakes. This caused the 7,800 gallons of fuel to slosh forward, knocking the truck off balance. It jackknifed, rolled and eventually stopped, upside-down, in the median. Though the fuel spilled, there was no fire. He only had about 60 more miles to go.

The driver, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the truck’s cab and died at the scene. Though there were two people who’d been sitting in the pickup at the time of the accident, neither was hurt. So far, no charges have been filed.

It is unclear if there were contributing factors to the accident. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driver error is the leading cause of all truck accidents. In fact, driver-related factors contributed to 31 percent of fatal truck accidents. Other common causes of tractor-trailer accidents are as follows:
• Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
• Distracted driving
• Improper lane shifting or failure to stay in the proper lane

According to the National Highway Transportation Association, 3,921 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2012, up 4 percent from the previous year. What’s unusual about the tanker truck crash and death is that 73 percent of all fatal crashes in 2012 were occupants of other vehicles. Only 18 percent were occupants of large trucks.

N.C. 87 was shut down for several hours as workers cleaned up the fuel spill. The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources tested the soil and water for contaminants.

It is important to note that the Carolinas is a major commercial trucking hub. All day every day, large trucks are on our highways carrying all manner of goods and products.

Contact the truck accident attorneys at the Rock Hill, S.C. firm of Lee Law Offices, P.A. to set up a free consultation to discuss your legal rights. 1-800-887-1965 or 803-324-0371.

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