Two Tractor Trailers Collide on Interstate 64 in Missouri in Fiery Crash Killing One Driver and Shutting Down Lanes

Early Tuesday morning at 4:30 am two tractor-trailers struck one another, engulfing the trucks in flames. One of the tractor-trailers was pulled over on the shoulder of I-64 in Chesterfield, MO(Highway 40), with his hazards on, when the second truck hit it. The second tractor-trailer was moving at high-speed when it struck the stationary tractor-trailer, according to officials. The driver of the immobile truck was able to get out of the truck before it burst to flames, and get to safety, but the other driver was not as lucky. The moving tractor-trailer burst into flames upon impact, trapping the driver, while the stationary driver’s trailer caught fire. Firefighters arrived to the scene, and it took two hours for them to put out the fire. During this time, I-64 near Chesterfield was shut down, and around 8 am, officials estimated that it would be closed another few hours to assess and potentially fix any highway damage done by the blazing fire.

How Commercial Truck Accidents Impact Families and Loved Ones

Accidents happen suddenly, and when they happen, victims and their family members might be scrambling as to what to do. If you or your loved one is in an accident, the first step is to seek immediate professional medical attention. Even if it looks as though there are no external injuries, injuries can be internal as well, so it is important to rule out all potential injuries with a doctor when an accident happens so they don’t worsen. Next, the scene of the accident should be documented, this includes damages done to vehicles, skid marks on the road, proof of injuries and more. Contact information should be gathered from both parties involved, as well as any witnesses. During this time, it is important to avoid speaking to the insurance company of the negligent driver to protect your rights. Insurance companies will try to get you or your loved one to make an immediate statement after an accident, but is in you or your loved one’s best interest to stay silent until they consult with an attorney about their case. An attorney will deal with the insurance company for you, and make sure that you receive the most for your injuries and damages during this difficult time.

Damages that Can Be Recovered in the Wake of a Commercial Truck Accident

It can be confusing to know what you or your loved one’s rights are after an accident, but there are a number of damages that can be recovered due to injuries, damage to vehicles, and more. Some of the more common damages that can be recovered from a commercial truck accident are:

  • Medical Expenses. If you or a loved one is involved in an accident, it is essential that you seek prompt medical attention to rule out any external or internal injuries. Medical damages that can be claimed include any ambulance fees that arose during the accident, medical bills for treatment, physical therapy if needed, medications that are purchased as part of treatment of accident-related injuries, and medical accessories bought during this time.

  • Pain and Suffering. Pain and suffering is defined as mental or physical distress due to an accident or other traumatic events. Pain and suffering damages that can be claimed include physical, emotional and mental injuries sustained due to the accident, the seriousness of the pain suffered and a prognosis on whether this will cause future problems for the individual.

  • Lost Wages.After a car accident, if you are unable to work due to your injuries from the accident, any lost wages experienced during this time can be claimed. It must be proved by a medical professional, and the wages that can be recovered will be determined by factors such as past earnings, age and whether or not you will be able to continue working, at your current job or a new job, in the future due to your injuries.

  • Loss of Affection or Companionship.If you are married, and your spouse feels as though you have been noticeably less affectionate after the accident, or there is a decrease in sexual activity, your spouse can claim loss of consortium due to your injuries sustained during the accident.

The Impact Commercial Truck Accidents Have on Other Drivers

The average size of a semi-truck plus its trailer is 80,000 pounds, and that is excluding any cargo it may be carrying. It takes an average of 525 feet for a semi-truck to come to a complete stop due to its weight. While other drivers must stay alert and focused, it is especially important for tractor-trailers to follow these rules due to the sheer weight and size of the vehicles they are operating to keep fellow commercial truck drivers as well as passenger vehicle drivers safe on the road.

Tips to Keep in Mind to Help Avoid Commercial Truck Accidents

There a number of driver safety tips available, but some of the more important tips include slowing down when there is bad weather, looking ahead as well as directly in front of you when driving, maintaining your commercial truck, knowing and using proper safety signals, and buckling up. When there is bad weather, this can cause vehicles to slip and slide if they don’t slow down. Driving at a slower speed lessens the chance of sliding off the road, or spinning into another vehicle. It is critical to keep your truck maintained, and make sure that everything is up-to-code with your vehicle’s parts, and that the load is secure and there are no loose materials that can prove dangerous to other drivers on the road. Safety signals are important because they signal to other drivers ahead of time that you’re pulling off the road, or will allow them to see your vehicle on the side of the road at night. The most common commercial truck signals are hazard lights, reflective triangles, and road flares to catch the attention of other drivers. In 2014, 30% of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes were partially or totally ejected from their vehicles, which is usually preventable by wearing a seat belt.

We hope that this information we’ve provided is helpful to you or a loved one if you’re involved in a commercial truck accident, and if you need someone to consult with about your case, we are available 24/7. Just call (314) 409-7060, 855-40-CRASH, or contact us today.

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