Police in Lexington, North Carolina have identified a woman who died when a tractor trailer crashed into her car as Mary Green Small, 54, of Louisville, Ky.
According to local media reports, Small was driving her 1990 Nissan along Interstate 85 on Monday morning when the fatal tractor trailer accident occurred. She had stopped her car in a travel lane when a tractor trailer, driven by William Offutt, 49, slammed into the rear of the car. The impact was so intense that the car immediately caught fire and exploded, according to witness reports.
Small was pronounced dead at the scene. Offutt did not suffer any significant injury.
It is not known at this time why Small was stopped or why Offutt failed to slow his truck before rear-ending her. The accident is still under investigation from local authorities.
In most cases where a car or truck rear-ends another vehicle, the rear end collision doctrine applies. This means that negligence is assumed on the part of the at fault driver as all drivers are responsible for what’s ahead of them on the roadway. There are exceptions to this rule and there may be extenuating circumstances to this case that could affect liability. While it is a tragic and trying time, the family of the deceased should contact a tractor trailer accident attorney as soon as possible to investigate the accident and collect any evidence that may prove useful should a personal injury suit arise from the crash.