The snowy weather brought yet another automobile accident involving two tractor-trailers and a car. The car, a 1998 Honda Civic, was disabled from a previous accident, blocking the roadway near the 79-mile marker. The driver of the Honda, Phyllis Winters, 55, is a resident of Lone Jack, Missouri. The two passengers in the car, Jesse Lathron, 24, and Ben McAllen, 32, were inside the car, waiting for a tow truck.
At approximately 10:25 p.m., a 2011 Freightliner, driven by Steven Jackson of St. Louis slid into the Honda. Immediately following this crash, a 2008 International truck, driven by George Braswell of Kansas, struck Jackson’s truck. While no injuries were sustained by either of the truck drivers or Ms. Winters, Jesse Lathron and Ben McAllen were transported to Fitzgibbon Hospital where they were treated for moderate injuries.
Both truck drivers and Ms. Winters were wearing safety devices, though neither Lathron nor McAllen wore safety belts. The accident is currently under investigation to determine why the Honda was originally disabled and why the trucks were unable to see the car before hitting it. It is possible low visibility played a part in one or both of the accidents, as the recent snowy weather has contributed to many recent accidents in the area. However, federal trucking regulations require trucks pull off the roadway in conditions such as this. If the truck drivers failed to follow protocol, they could be subjected to legal liability for causing these victim’s injuries.
We’ve all heard or read about fatalities which occur when a disabled car is struck by a multi-ton tractor-trailer. If you have been in an accident with an 18-wheeler, it’s imperative you contact a seasoned Missouri truck accident attorney in order to have your rights protected right from the beginning. The trucking industry and their insurance companies are notorious for concealing evidence. Many times, things just happen to “disappear.”
If you should find yourself stranded by a disabled vehicle this winter, if possible, move the car a safe distance from all lanes of traffic and turn your flashers to alert oncoming traffic. If you are unable to move the vehicle, do not stay inside the vehicle. Exit as quickly as possible and get to a safe area. Next, call the Missouri Highway Patrol immediately for assistance, and use any reflective materials you have in your car to make it more visible.
This time of year always brings a rash of auto accidents due to the snow and ice. If at all possible it’s smart to avoid driving altogether during inclement weather. If you simply must get out on the snowy roads, drive slowly and defensively. Car accidents take a toll on those involved, both physically and mentally. Many times injuries may not present themselves until days or weeks following the accident. If you have been involved in an auto accident, a Saint Louis personal injury attorney can look at the facts surrounding the accident.