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Breaking News: At least 10 Killed In Kentucky Semi Truck Crash

12 comments

Several news outlets, including CNN, WLKY, LEX18, WAVE3, and WKYT and reported that at least 10 people were killed after a tractor trailer crossed the median on I-65 and crashed into a van near Munfordville, KY and Cave City, KY.

NBC News has reported the death toll at 11.

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From CNN:

(CNN) – At least 10 people were killed in a wreck on Interstate 65 in Kentucky on Friday morning, a spokesman for the Kentucky State Police said.

The wreck happened between 5:30 and 6 a.m., said Lt. David Jude.

A tractor-trailer apparently crossed the median and hit a passenger van head on, he said. Most of the 10 who died were in the van, he said.

"The scene is really chaotic right now," he said.

The wreck happened at mile marker 63 on I-65 in southwestern Kentucky. The wreck site is roughly 40 miles northwest of the city of Bowling Green, near Mammoth Cave National Park.

From LEX18:

Kentucky State Police are on the scene of an accident with multiple fatalities on I-65 near Cave City.

Officials say that at least 11 people were killed, but State Police will not confirm the exact number of fatalities and say the total could grow.

Police say the accident happened about 5:17 a.m.central time in the northbound lanes at the 63 mile marker. A department of transportation official says a southbound semi-truck crossed the median and crashed head-on into an 18-passenger van. The driver of the semi was killed, along with multiple passengers in the van.

Other passengers in the van were transported to the hospital.

LEX 18 has learned the passengers in the van were Mennonites.

Coroners from other counties are on the way to the scene to assist the Hart County Coroner.

Police have set up a detour on northbound I-65. Traffic is being routed off at Exit 58 to KY218, then to northbound US31W and on to westbound KY61. Traffic will re-enter I-65 N at Exit 91.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved in this horrific crash. It appears from news reports that very few details about the crash are known at this time. One has to wonder what caused this eighteen wheeler to cross the median and crash into this van full of people.

All motorists — and especially semi truck drivers with 80,000 pound rigs — are supposed to be alert and leave enough room in front of them to be able to avoid crashes like this one. Now, I agree that the vast majority of truckers out there are safe, but even a few bad apples give all the other tractor trailer drivers a bad name.

Nationwide, large trucks (known as tractor trailers, semi trucks, eighteen wheelers, diesel, big rigs, or commercial trucks) make up only about 3% of the vehicles on the road. However, they account for far more traffic fatalities. For example, in Missouri, semi truck crashes make up as much as 15% of traffic deaths. In Illinois, tractor trailer crashes cause more than 10% of traffic deaths.

Within the last several weeks, a truck driver was doing paper work while driving and crashed through several motorcycles in Phoenix killing three people, a tractor trailer caused a massive 50 car pile up on Interstate 80 in Wyoming, an eighteen wheeler crashed into the back of a Greyhound bus near Bowling Green, a truck driver slammed into a woman’s parked vehicle while he was watching streaming porn on a laptop while driving. A truck driver slammed into the back of a passenger van in Indiana. A semi truck crashed into a parked vehicle in Texas. Late last year, a trucker never even hit his brakes before crashing into a minivan stopped in traffic and killed a three-year-old boy.

Why do crashes like this keep happening? The most likely answers are distracted driving and fatigue, although it appears weather may have been factor in the Wyoming pile up.

Earlier this year, the federal government enacted regulations to crack down on distracted driving by truck and bus drivers. A study by Virginia Tech’s Transportation Institute found that distracted truck drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or a close call.

Driver fatigue is also a particularly dangerous — and completely preventable — cause of trucking accidents. Nearly 15 years ago, the NTSB issued a report warning of truck driver fatigue dangers.

The NTSB found that trucker fatigue was a contributing factor in 30%-40% of all diesel truck accidents. The NTSB found that proper sleep patterns are imperative for truck driver safety. Truckers must get 8 hours of continuous sleep after driving for 10 hours or after being on duty for 15 hours for proper safety.

The NTSB has also issued a warning that truck drivers should also be screened for a medical condition called sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea denies people the rest they need, and it has been found to be a factor in incident involving every transportation mode, NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said in letters.

Too many people have been killed by semi truck crashes and trucking accidents.

The National Transportation Safety Board ("NTSB") lists the following as some of the most common causes of big rig accidents:

  • Poor Driver Training

  • Driver Fatigue (Tiredness)

  • Speeding

  • Overloaded Trucks

  • Oversized Trucks

  • Brake Failure

  • Poor Driving Conditions

  • Driver Inexperience

  • Failure To Yield The Right-Of-Way

  • Driving Under The Influence of Alcohol Or Drugs

  • Aggressive, Dangerous Or Reckless Driving

  • Mechanical Failure (Or Improper Maintenance)

  • Defective Parts (Such As Defective Steering Or Brakes)

Truckers and trucking companies must be mindful of each of these trucking accident causes.

Driving an 80,000 tractor trailer covering hundreds of thousands of miles is an awesome responsibility. Truckers and trucking corporations must be vigilant about safety.

Learn more about trucking accidents and become a fan of Langdon & Emison on Facebook.

12 Comments

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  1. TRUTH TIME says:
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    WHO WAS THE DRIVER??????…DRIVERS NAME, COMPANY NAME, COUNTRY OF ORIGIN?

    REPORTERS????…SOMEONE OUT THERE TOOK JOURNALISM…BUT THE BEER WAS FLOWING, BETTER THAN EVER.

  2. bobdog says:
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    I drove by the crash and took a couple sloppy pics. Who did the driver drive for?

  3. Rob says:
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    Get the human garbage driving these trucks out of the cab and away from the road. I travel much of the nation and see these guys. They must hire them from the gutters.

  4. Rob says:
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    Get the human garbage driving these trucks out of the cab and away from the road. I travel much of the nation and see these guys. They must hire them from the gutters.

  5. mike says:
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    Rob , if you want the human garbage out of the trucks quit being so demanding about having your toilet paper to wipe the drool off your chin in the store RIGHT NOW and be willing to pay the price increase that drivers need to make a living so we don’t have to drive as hard and long so you can have your toilet paper and not drool on your blouse.It’s people like you that cause the accidents thinking your better then a truck driver more important you have to be there first ect. here is a idea rob go to truck driving school hop in a big truck and lets see how well you do in new york traffic on new years day see if you dont hit anything or ANYONE .
    Yes this accident is a bad thing and I do feel for the families but to blame a truck driver is complete stupidity untill it is proven.
    When you have people in cars come to a complete stop .blow a tire or fall asleep infront of you you don’t have time to react to ALL passable choices that person is going to make.
    That drive could have been avoiding a person like you that travels much of the nation that spilled his coffee on his blouse and started jerking the wheel.
    Big trucks don’t stop on a dime oops correction they do stop on a dime that is in your pocket when you think cutting in front of one will save you time .

  6. Bill @ wurk says:
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    Mr. Emisson, before you post the rubbish such as at the end of your post, please think of all factors… impatient jackasses that cut us off or don’t allow us safe lane changes. Same morons that slam brakes in front of us instead of jusst going to the next exit and turning around. I do agree that some of us have and will make bad choices resulting in poor results such as this one, but don’t condemn us all.

    Rob, you are an inconsiderate chunk of human waste that should be cleaned up and disposed of with materials that some “human garbage driving these trucks” delivered.

    In all reality, we are out here for 200,000 miles a year and a lot can happen. If anyone wants to point fingers, point then at the large corporations that underpay us and put rediculous time constraints on our loads. When it comes to our hygene and our lack of sleep, rest assured it is not OUR choice.

    Corporate greed is the root of most evil, no matter what your beliefs are.

  7. Brett Emison says:
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    Bill,

    Thanks for taking time to read and comment. I did not condemn all truck drivers… only bad ones. In fact, I specifically said: “Now, I agree that the vast majority of truckers out there are safe, but even a few bad apples give all the other tractor trailer drivers a bad name.”

    I have to admit I am curious about the “rubbish” to which you refer at the end of my post.

    Were you referring to this statement: “Driving an 80,000 tractor trailer covering hundreds of thousands of miles is an awesome responsibility. Truckers and trucking corporations must be vigilant about safety”? Is that statement rubbish?

    Were you referring to the list of factors from the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”)? Are those common sense safety considerations rubbish?

    Were you referring to my call that drivers should not be distracted or drive while tired? Is that concern rubbish?

    Which of these critical safety policies do you refer to as rubbish?

    It is blind defense of bad drivers that gives all truck drivers bad names. There is no excuse for this semi truck crossing the median and killing an entire family.

    I do agree with you that trucking companies should be held more accountable. Major trucking companies require drivers to drive too many miles, too fast, on too little rest and for too little money.

    Driving an 80,000 pound rig hundreds of thousands of miles is an awesome responsibility. That is precisely why safety needs to be the first consideration (not the last) and good truck drivers like you should make sure bad truck drivers stay off the highways.

    Thanks again for reading and taking the time to comment.

  8. Rob says:
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    It appears that you drivers who respond are more concerned about delivering toilet paper than the families you are killing. Your crashes are all over the nation. Family after family. Would you like a list of the states and the names and ages of those killed? It is not cars pulling in front of you. You are 1. Following too close, speeding,(I see you bumper riding all of the time.)
    Or 2. You are watching porn on your computer,on drugs, drinking.

  9. bob says:
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    Ok, now rob is just being an idiot imo. I’ve had the pleasure of driving in all of the lower 48 and cannot count the number of small cars that think its safe to get infront of my truck with only about a cars length of room. What if the rear end of that car was to seize up? Guess who gets blamed for killing the idiot in the car because he didn’t give the truck enough space to react? All it takes is a few bad truck drivers to give us all a bad name. I will never crash my truck due to being tired..if I get fuzzy eyes, someone gets late freight. Now I will say that logbook rules force us to drive unsafe due to the 14 hour rule when most times a 5 hour nap could still get the freight there on time and safe…but guess what that breaks the 14 hour that is supposed to keep everyone safe. The DOT needs to take more consideration when making logbook rules. There is way more to take into consideration than what is posted. I am in no way excusing the driver that caused the accident, I drovr right by it and have a clear picture of straight tire tracks across the median. In my opinion he fell asleep driving too tired….let’s count passenger car accidents and compare all the stupid reasons they crashed…the only reason they don t make the news is there are so many of them for one, and they don’t weigh enough to do the same damage……leave us room people..understand what that truck can potentially do to your car,and others because u helped create the accident.

  10. Bill at wurk says:
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    Mr. Emisson,
    My apologies, after reading your article one more time I see that you were indeed listing quotesstatistics from NTSB that I misread as opinion. I hope it caused you no grief.

    Rob,
    Please take a moment and think before you speak or type…
    I have seen some truck drivers tailgate. I have even seen a few speeding. Now, that being said, I as a driver can count in just one day as many as 10 times the number of average motorists doing the exact same things. In fact no less than 12 times a day some fool is riding so close to my tail that I cannot even see their vehicle. And no less than 7 times a day some fool (occasionally the same one) will change lanes so close to my front that I cannot see their tail lights.

    Now you may be asking yourself where these numbers come from. Well I drove for 7 hours this evening and kept count.

    Again I say…
    My up to 11 hours actually behind the wheel greatly increase my chances of a bad accident verses the average persons less than 2 hours behind the wheel.

    Incidentally, what do you do for a living that you travel most of the nation as you say? Are you a truck stop stalker? In order for you to see “us guys” one would think you just might be….

  11. Rob says:
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    You fellows just do not get it. You are in denial.
    Your bumper riding is so easy to see everyday and your speeding. I am sorry that some state patrolmen have not commented. They would give the clear picture regarding your driving. I am sure that they are sick of cleaning up after you. You comment about my perhaps being a truck stop stalker is humerous but not a big surprise coming from someone of your class. I am well off. Three homes, new cars and here is the kicker – I am 100% sure that I have an education far above you.

  12. Bill at wurk says:
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    Well I am glad it was humorous. It was meant that way. I am glad you are comfortable in your lifestyle as well. However, being a driver is a life I choose. My education far supercedes the qualifications for my career. I don’t normally take the comments of someone of your caliber personal, so I will just end my part in this discussion as is. Enjoy your snooty life, and I will enjoy my life of choice.