Generally, news stories of semi-trailer accidents involve trucks and other motor vehicles. But any type of vehicle that shares the road with semi-trucks is susceptible to truck accidents and truck accidents often lead to serious injuries, even fatalities.
A recent accident on Saturday was no exception. A semi-trailer struck an Amish buggy and two people were killed. A third person suffered injuries and was flown to a hospital in Youngstown where he remains in critical condition.
The accident occurred in Ohio's neighboring state of Pennsylvania. According to local law enforcement, the horse-drawn buggy was riding down the road when the semi-truck hit the buggy from behind. A 34-year-old mother and her 11-year-old daughter both died in the crash from blunt force trauma. The woman's husband, the driver of the buggy, incurred devastating injuries.
Amish buggies usually travel along the shoulders of the road and are marked with orange, reflective signs warning other drivers of their slow speed. Buggies travel less than 10 mph. Even with these precautions, car and truck accidents with buggies are a reality, especially given the prevalence of the Amish community in Ohio, Pennsylvania and surrounding states.
The 36-year-old semi driver called 911 after he crashed into the buggy. The crash investigation is still ongoing and there is no word on whether or not the driver will be charged in the accident.
Semi-truck drivers, like all motor vehicle operators, have a duty to drive responsibly and exercise a certain standard of care under the circumstances. The nature of the trucking industry may push some drivers to travel long hours, speed, and carry overweight loads. If a driver breaches his or her duty in this way and causes an accident, the injured parties or families of the victims may be able to bring a lawsuit against the negligent driver to recover compensation for the injuries or loss. This is accomplished by filing a wrongful death suit or a personal injury claim.
Following an accident, those affect have many decisions to make during a difficult and emotional time. It is not only challenging to cope with the death or severe injury of a loved one, but the financial burdens resulting form the incident could be life altering. It is best to understand what options loved ones have in this situation and seeking advice could protect their interests and rights.
Source: International Business Times, "Deadly Amish Buggy Accident In Pennsylvania Kills 2," Philip Ross, Dec. 1, 2013