Bennett, Colorado – A fatal crash unfolded on Interstate 70, leading to the loss of one life.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, the driver of a box truck transporting pharmaceuticals pulled over onto the shoulder of I-70 eastbound due to heavy rain and hail.
A pickup truck carrying five passengers was traveling behind the box truck at a considerable speed. The pickup truck hydroplaned due to adverse weather conditions and collided with the rear of the box truck, which was stationed on the side of the interstate.
One of the passengers in the pickup truck was pronounced deceased at the scene. Three other occupants sustained serious injuries.
This accident needs to be further investigated to ensure the victims of this crash receive proper justice
Slippery roads from rainfall can be deadly. Each year, close to 5,700 people die due to wet pavement crashes, and 3,400 die in rainfall accidents (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2023). Moreover, hundreds of thousands of people are injured in these crashes. During inclement weather, truck drivers have a responsibility to exercise extreme caution to ensure the safety of all motorists.
This accident will present significant issues that must be investigated to ensure all wrongdoing is identified and the people injured and killed receive whatever justice may be available to them under the law.
For one, an investigation must determine if the commercial operator bears any responsibility for this crash. Commercial operators must adhere to strict rules designed to protect the motoring public. One of these rules is to exercise extreme caution while operating in adverse conditions. That may mean not operating at all.
Did the driver of the box truck have opportunities to suspend operations in a safe location yet failed to do so? Why didn’t this driver pull over at a truck stop where passing motorists were not at risk of a rear-end collision?
Additionally, there is no evidence that the trucker provided any warning to passing motorists of the truck’s presence. Federal regulation requires operators to warn passing motorists of a stopped truck by use of cones or triangles. Was that adhered to here? One might say that such a warning would have prevented a hydroplaning vehicle, but such an assumption cannot be made without further investigation. Perhaps the driver would have slowed down in response to a truck parked on the side of the road if the truck’s presence was known. This is the reaction the alert is designed to induce.
Additionally, the condition of the tires on the pickup truck must also be inspected. Tires provide traction. When tires lose traction, accidents happen. There are many issues with tires that can lead to third-party liability. For instance, we recently handled a case where a young man hydroplaned into a police cruiser parked on the side of the road. Evidence revealed that mistakes made by multiple repair companies allowed such an event to unfold.
Repair and tire service companies must take reasonable steps to ensure vehicles they service are safe. Installing bad tires, failing to install tires in the correct location, and other mistakes may lead to avoidable accidents.
Trained lawyers and their team of professionals need to look into this incident to gain a comprehensive understanding of the factors contributing to the injuries and death that occurred here. If any wrongdoing is identified on the part of the truck driver, the employing company, or a third-party repair or maintenance company, such party should be held accountable under the law.
The Ammons Law Firm represents clients nationwide in catastrophic injury and wrongful death litigation, with extensive experience in complex auto/tire defect and commercial vehicle cases.
Disclaimer: This post is not legal advice. Information contained in this blog was compiled from third-party sources or is the opinion of the author. Please inform us immediately if false or misleading information is contained in this post.