A nightmarish wreck occurred in Pittsburg, CA, on Monday morning, March 16, 2015, when a semi with two trailers full of gravel careened out of control, at an estimated 90 mph, through the intersection of Railroad Avenue and Linscheid Drive, striking two stopped vehicles, before leaving the road, crashing into the Los Palotes Mexican restaurant, which was closed at the time. An explosion was heard by those nearby, and flames shot into the air.
There was No Escaping the Flames
The truck driver, whose name was withheld until his family could be notified, had no chance when fire swept through the big truck, according to nearby witnesses who heard and felt the impact. Witnesses described seeing the trucker’s burned body, after the blazing inferno burned down, hanging over a door of the truck, his attempts to escape unsuccessful. Others were injured, but witnesses said the trucker’s skillful driving saved lives that could easily have been lost.
How Did This Happen?
One witness, Marvin Tomkins-Dob, told investigators that he believed the tractor-trailer lost its brakes, because the big truck was flashing its lights and smelled of burning brakes as it blazed past him toward a red light. David Gardner, a survivor and driver of one of the stopped cars hit by the semi, expressed gratitude to be alive as paramedics checked him over for personal injury from the furious impact of the trucking accident.
A number of things could have gone wrong to make a semi truck lose its brakes. There may have been mechanical failure or poor maintenance; the truck could have been overloaded. No one will know for sure until the matter has been investigated.
Survivors Look for Answers
Those who survived this horrible, fatal trucking wreck will not soon forget the sight of that truck bearing down on them at high speeds. The family of the dead trucker will be looking for answers, too. Federal regulations provide specifications for the maintenance, loading, and operations of commercial vehicles by companies that own trucks, and the law might also look to manufacturers of parts that failed and caused this horrible 18-wheeler accident.
All avenues of possible monetary compensation for death and personal injury should be explored, investigated, and pursued by a personal injury and wrongful death attorney who knows how to handle trucking accident cases.
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