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Truck accident: 11 injured, 2 seriously, when tanker hits 9 cars

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

Truck safety rules are generally enforced by state authorities, including in Pennsylvania. A trucking company can sustain penalties and restrictions if it fails to comply with all safety regulations or where its vehicles are involved in an inordinate number of accidents within a state. One company with a questionable record became embroiled in additional safety inquiries after one of its tractor trailers was involved in a serious truck accident.

The accident occurred on the William Penn Highway in Churchill in the western part of the state at about 1 p.m. on Nov. 17. The tanker truck, which belongs to a local trucking company, was merging onto the highway after exiting from the Parkway East. While going down the hill off the exit, the driver reports having lost his brakes, causing him to crash into a line of cars stopped at a red light.

The crash created a chain reaction that brought nine vehicles into the melee, resulting in  injuries to 11 people. Nine of the victims were taken to local hospitals. The first car rear-ended by the truck was occupied by two women in their 70's. They are both listed in serious condition with broken bones.  

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported that the trucking company currently has a conditional safety rating, indicating noncompliance with more than one safety regulation. The Department stated that the company has been involved in 10 accidents in the past two years, with five of those events resulting in injuries. The Department reported that the business also has a record of speeding, reckless driving and numerous other traffic violations.

Pennsylvania authorities stated that truck accident reconstruction experts will photograph and take measurements at the scene. The authorities will also examine the truck, with particular emphasis on whether it had a malfunction with its brakes. In any event, the truck driver and the trucking company are liable to compensate all of the injured victims for damages suffered. A maintenance problem with the truck's brakes also counts as negligence, in addition to truck driver carelessness.

Source: CBS Pittsburgh, "Tractor Trailer Loses Brakes, Crashes Into 9 Vehicles", Paul Martino, Nov. 17, 2017

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