Joyce Powell, 71, was injured Monday morning when a chunk of ice fell off an oncoming tractor trailer and crashed through her windshield.
The accident occurred on Highway 60 in Newton County, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Powell was traveling westbound and passed an unknown Eastbound tractor trailer. Just as the vehicles were passing each other, the piece of ice separated from the roof of the trailer and pierced the windshield, striking Powell. The tractor trailer continued down the roadway without stopping and has not been identified.
Powell was taken to St. John’s Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Ice falling off passing vehicles is not a concern many motorists have, however, while it’s true that serious injury accidents involving flying ice are more uncommon than a typical crash, these types of incidents do happen and people do get hurt or even killed. We have previously commented on these types of accidents after a rash of them were reported earlier in the winter.
One problem with these types of accidents is that often the tractor trailer driver doesn’t stop and may not even know that he caused an accident. Unless a witness sees the whole incident and can identify the truck, it is usually not found. There isn’t a good way to track these incidents, either, and many times they can go unreported.
Another issue is that motor carrier regulations in this area don’t have any teeth, though the state of New York is considering making more stringent laws about clearing ice from trucks after a woman was killed by a piece of ice.
As we move into spring, the danger of ice causing a serious car accident will be lessened, though some areas of the country may still get down to freezing temperatures for a couple weeks. While ice may soon not be a factor, there is also the possibility of other types of debris being thrown from trucks on the highway. If you have been involved in an incident were debris or ice has caused you serious injury, contact an experienced Missouri personal injury attorney as soon as possible.