Recently in Halifax, North Carolina, a 127 ton tractor trailer derailed an Amtrak train at a railroad crossing. The tractor trailer was a whopping three times the size and weight of most standard 18 wheelers. Our Miami truck accident lawyers discovered that it was so large that it required a Highway Patrol escort and so tall that it could not pass under the overpasses on some interstates, requiring that it take back roads.
Authorities are now reporting that the truck driver involved in the massive train-truck collision that injured 55 people was struggling to negotiate a tight left hand turn. He was turning from one two lane highway to another across the tracks, weighed down by the enormous load, when a passenger train roared around the corner and collided.
The truck required a special permit that allowed the transport company to exceed the length and weight requirements normally set on all trucks. It was hauling an electrical distribution facility to New Jersey. The tractor and trailer combined stretched 164 feet long, with 13 axles and a combine weight of 225,000 pounds. A standard tractor trailer, in comparison, has five axles and weighs a maximum of 88,000 pounds.
Eyewitnesses report that the truck was attempting to move over the tracks for about eight minutes before impact. Officials thus far are investigating whether the train was warned as to the truck’s difficulties making it across. It does not appear a call was made, despite the fact that protocol requires truck drivers and escorts to inform railroad dispatchers of their routes. A toll-free emergency number was also displayed at the crossing, but evidently not used. The train’s conductor was among the injured, but the truck driver escaped unharmed.
This recent accident occurring in North Carolina should be reviewed by Florida officials and those across the country as well. The catastrophic collision could well have been prevented if the tractor trailer was not so large and difficult to maneuver. It raises important questions as to the requirements for obtaining a special permit and the dangers in allowing trucks this large to navigate the roadways. It also calls into question the actions of the driver, who by all accounts should have phoned the train emergency number to alert any approaching trains that it was struck on the tracks. If these actions were taken, the 55 injured individuals could have remained unscathed.
Anyone injured due to the conduct of a truck driver or trucking company should contact a licensed truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Truck accidents often result in serious injuries that could have a long term impact on your health and livelihood. A truck accident attorney will thoroughly examine the crash and assess your best avenue towards a full recovery.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Truck Accident Attorneys of Unmatched Excellence
Truck accidents often lead to serious injuries, lifelong disability, and even death. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident, the Miami Truck Accident Attorneys at the law firm of Greenberg Stone and Urbano will fight for your full recovery, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Our attorneys have over 130 years of collective experience and will put our skill to work for you. Our dedication to legal excellence has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and acknowledgement as one of South Florida’s top-rated firms by the Miami Herald. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an appointment so that we can begin fighting for your recovery.