Trucks are one of America's primary means of moving goods and raw materials from production to market, leaving many roadways congested with cars and commercial trucks. An unfortunate effect of this is that truck accidents are fairly common occurrences. Occasionally, an accident draws attention to the devastating effects of a collision between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle.
Clearfield County's Route 879, known locally as Clearfield-Shawville Highway, was recently the scene of a multi-vehicle accident involving a coal truck and a car that left one occupant of the car dead at the scene and three others requiring hospitalization with serious injuries. Two of the injured passengers included an 18-month-old and a 2-year-old. The driver of the coal truck was also injured in the collision that forced the closing of the highway. According to the truck driver's daughter, he did not sustain serious injuries in the accident.
The difference in size and weight of the two vehicles usually results in serious damage to a passenger car when it is involved in a truck accident. The collision on Route 879 trapped the injured occupants in the car until they could be freed by emergency personnel.
As frequently occurs in multi-vehicle accidents involving a death, the police detoured traffic while they reconstructed the collision as part of their investigation. One element of the police investigation will be to determine if the commercial vehicle was in compliance with state and federal trucking regulations. Investigators normally inspect the truck to eliminate negligent truck maintenance as a cause of an accident.
When the cause of an accident is not immediately apparent, compensation for those killed or injured may depend on the results of the police investigation to decide if negligence on the part of one of the drivers caused the collision.
Source: WJAC TV, "1 Killed, 3 injured when car collides with coal truck in Clearfield Co.," Brittany Boyer, Sept. 17, 2012