Speeding Semi Driver Likely Cause of 19 Vehicle Crash in the Antelope Valley
On Tuesday morning, June 26, the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway was shut down after a semi-truck collided with several vehicles, causing an accident that eventually came to involve 18 cars plus the big rig. The Los Angeles Times reported that 17 people were injured in the pile-up crash, with two of the victims left in critical condition. The freeway was not able to be reopened until after 2:00 p.m. PT, more than four hours after the initial collision.
According to NBC news sources, officials at the scene of the crash said the semi, which was towing two trailers containing sand or dirt, was traveling too fast around a curve and could not decrease speed in time to avoid hitting slowed vehicles ahead. The California Highway Patrol had slowed traffic to clear debris from the roadway.
Truck Speed & Stopping Distance
In California, the maximum speed limit for vehicles with three or more axels is always 55 mph, notwithstanding posted speed limits that may allow smaller vehicles to travel at 65 or even 70 mph. At least one reason truck drivers are required to drive at a slower speed than cars is that heavier vehicles require a much greater stopping distance than lighter, smaller vehicles. The distance needed to stop a truck also increases at higher rates of speed.
In the Antelope Valley crash, the big rig was towing two trailers rather than just one, and the trailers were loaded with sand or dirt, which likely means they were exceptionally heavy. Even if the truck driver was not speeding, he would have needed a significant distance to stop for slowed traffic. In the event he was speeding (and also maneuvering a curve), his ability to stop in time to avoid a collision would have been greatly impaired.
While large, heavy trucks are likely to cause damage in an accident, smaller vehicles are likely to be damaged in an accident. According to the United States Department of Transportation, in truck accidents involving a big rig and a car, the car’s occupants are much more likely to be killed or injured than the truck driver. If a truck driver’s negligence, recklessness, or illegal driving caused an accident, victims are entitled to compensation.
Talk to an Experienced Los Angeles Injury Lawyer
The Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy possess the experience and skill to effectively handle the complexities of multi-vehicle crash cases. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car or truck accident in Southern California and you have sustained injuries, please contact our firm to talk to an experienced Los Angeles accident lawyer.