SEWARD COUNTY, Nebraska –Around 3:15 a.m. on Sunday, August 14, 2022, one person was pronounced dead, and another was injured when their semi-trucks collided while traveling westbound on I-80.
According to initial police reports, one semi-truck was disabled on the shoulder of I-80 when another semi-truck hit the rear of the first truck’s trailer. The first semi-truck caught fire because of the crash and became fully engulfed in flames. The truck’s driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The second semi-truck came to rest nearby, and the driver was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.
Investigators have not released the identities of either driver at this time.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information has been made available.
The cause of the crash must be investigated further before any fault can be determined.
Further information will be needed before any fault can be determined. When dealing with 18-wheeler accidents, many parties may be responsible for the outcome. Thus, while it seems the driver of the first semi-truck should be accountable for his own death because he ran into the back of a parked semi-truck, the law does not view such accidents so simply.
We need to know what caused the truck to break down, if the truck was legally parked, and if proper warning devices were placed to warn fellow motorists of the truck’s presence. Reports suggest the truck was disabled. This common scenario does not justify parking on the side of the road. Often, trucks are only disabled because the company failed to maintain the truck properly. Most sudden mechanical issues can be prevented with routine maintenance and repair. When a truck impedes a public roadway due to a mechanical issue that would have been prevented by routine maintenance, the trucking company must account for their oversite.
Alternatively, regardless of whether the trucker was justified in parking on the side of the road or not, proper safety procedures must be followed to ensure the truck’s presence is visible to all other motorists. Failure to warn others of the truck’s presence is illegal and negligent. While reports have not yet provided this information, a basic investigation should reveal steps taken by the driver to warn other motorists.
This will be a complicated matter that will undoubtedly involve multiple parties. In this situation, it is often wise to involve trained legal experts to ensure responsibility is determined correctly. While we cannot make any firm determination now, there surely is more to the story than what has been reported in the initial reports.
I extend my deepest condolences to all involved and hope for a speedy recovery for those injured in this accident.
Disclaimer: Information contained in this blog was compiled from third-party sources and has not been independently verified. Please contact our firm immediately with any questions or concerns. This content is not legal advice or counsel.