California residents likely know how dangerous it can be to drive around commercial trucks. On the opposite coast, Florida Highway Patrol has said in a preliminary report that a fatal chain-reaction crash on I-75 near Gainesville may have been caused by a semi-truck driver.
The accident occurred early in January. The 59-year-old driver of a semi-truck moved left out of the right lane, for reasons still unknown, and collided with a passenger vehicle, a 2007 Honda sedan, causing both vehicles to go through the median guardrail onto southbound traffic. The incident spanned both northbound and southbound lanes.
The semi then collided with a 2006 Chevrolet passenger van with 12 occupants who, the report says, were going to Disney World. The van was flipped, and an unknown number of its occupants were ejected from it. Police are not sure if any of the occupants were wearing seat belts. In the end, the truck crashed with another semi, driven by a 49-year-old man, and a fire erupted.
Seven people were killed, including the two semi-truck drivers and five children ranging from 9 to 14 years old. FHP have ruled out alcohol as a potential factor. Their investigation will take three to four months to complete.
Due to the greater weight of semis, the majority of fatal truck accidents are fatal for those in the passenger vehicles. Those who lost a loved one in such an accident and who discover the trucker was to blame might speak with a lawyer about filing a wrongful death lawsuit. If successful, the lawsuit may bring them financial compensation for pre-death medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, loss of support and loss of consortium, among other things. The lawyer may be able to negotiate for a settlement first, litigating if one cannot be agreed upon.