When Oversized Loads Cause Trucking Wrecks With Injuries
When oversized trucks are on the highway there are specific rules that must be followed to avoid disaster. When things go wrong with an oversized load, they can go badly wrong.
Last year, an Amtrak train derailed in an accident that injured 55 passengers when it hit an oversized load on a grade crossing. A failure to follow proper procedures may have led to the wreck, according to a news report from Associated Press.
The report said the truck was more than three times bigger than a standard 18-wheeler and its driver experienced problems making a left-hand turn across the tracks.
One witness report said its driver had been trying to make the turn for around eight minutes before it was struck.
The load had an escort from highway patrol but nobody alerted Amtrak to say the truck was stuck on the tracks. According to reports, the truck was pulling an electrical distribution facility on a 164-foot long trailer. In such cases, a special permit is needed to allow a truck to exceed length and weight limits.
Special rules for heavy loads are outlined by the Federal Highway Administration.
When trucking companies fail to follow them they can be hit with massive lawsuits. In a recent case, a jury in Indiana awarded almost $13 million in a wrongful death lawsuit to a man whose wife was killed in a wreck involving a truck carrying a wind turbine.
The woman and two other women were on U.S. 20 when their car was struck by a giant wind tower component, which was being transported on a tractor-trailer. The impact made the car spin around where it was hit by a pick-up that was escorting the load.
This crash killed the three women at the scene. The jury heard a component of the wind turbine had been sticking out as the load was being transported. The turbine was being transported at night contrary in contravention of the law and the trucking company fabricated the size of the load in documentation to beat the curfew.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident involving an oversized load, often the trucking company will have flouted a rule. We represent many families in Virginia who have been involved in accidents with big trucks every year. See our page about trucking accidents in Virginia or call us at (757) 455-0077.