HARTLAND TOWNSHIP, Michigan- Two people were injured in a crash involving three tractor-trailers and a minivan on U.S. 23 near Hartland Township.
According to authorities, a 2007 Freightliner tractor-trailer crashed into the back of a 2015 Dodge Caravan while approaching congested traffic, pushing the Dodge off the roadway. The Freightliner then continued to crash into the back of a 2014 International Harvester tractor-trailer. This collision then forced the International Harvester truck into the back of a 2020 Freightliner.
The driver of the 2007 Freightliner sustained serious injuries and was taken to the University of Michigan Hospital for treatment. The minivan driver was also injured and taken to the University of Michigan hospital and was in “good condition.”
Officials do not believe alcohol or speed were factors in the cause, and all drivers were wearing seat belts. An investigation into the cause is ongoing.
No other additional information was immediately available.
Thoughts on the potential cause of the truck accident and potential relief available to the injured drivers
We are so thankful there were no fatalities reported because of this accident. A domino-effect crash like this, particularly with so many tractor-trailers involved, is incredibly dangerous. Our thoughts are with the two injured drivers as they recover.
While we wait for the results of the official investigation, we want to outline a few potential causes of this crash based on the information available. Given that the force of the initial collision was strong enough to cause damage to the next 3 vehicles in front of it, the 2007 Freightliner was probably moving at a high rate of speed, and it is possible there was an issue with the braking system.
Employers of truck drivers are responsible for ensuring that the vehicles their drivers are operating are in a safe condition and working properly. This includes making sure all routine maintenance is done and that any concerns raised by drivers are addressed. Unfortunately, our investigations often find that employers push these repairs back to save costs and boost efficiency or simply ignore the request altogether. If the investigation yields any evidence to suggest the cause of the crash was a braking system failure, both injured drivers may be able to state a claim against the driver’s employer or the manufacturer of the braking system.
Regardless of what the official investigation finds, we always advocate for an independent legal investigation, particularly in cases like this, where there is not an obvious cause of the accident. Resource constraints often mean that official investigations stop at the first identified cause. Unfortunately, we find many accidents have more than one cause, and we do not stop our investigation until all causes have been identified.