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Brett Emison
Brett Emison
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Ohio Semi Truck Crash Kills 4; Injures 6 More


ABC News has reported that a tractor trailer lost control on Interstate 70 during a snowstorm near Springfield, Ohio, killing at least three people and injuring six more.

In Ohio, a winter storm warning was in effect until Saturday morning. That’s on top of the snow that had already coated Interstate 70, where a tractor-trailer spun out of control Thursday, crossed the median and swerved into oncoming traffic, colliding with a small bus transporting adult disabled passengers, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

Three passengers on the bus were killed, as was its driver. Six other passengers on the bus, which was carrying 11 people, were injured, as was the driver of the commercial truck, Sgt. Raymond Durant said.

Reports from Tampa Bay Online and the Associated Press put the death total from this trucking accident at four people.

Our prayers and our thoughts go out to the families of those injured and killed in this tragic collision. Too many people have been killed by semi truck crashes and trucking accidents.

Hazardous winter weather means drivers must be extra careful when driving their vehicles. This is particularly true when your vehicle is an 80,000 pound tractor trailer. It is clear that hazardous weather conditions had something to do with this terrible collision, but why was the trucker driving in the first place?

Is it safe to take an 80,000 semi truck onto an Interstate highway during a blizzard? How fast was this truck driver going that his vehicle could jackknife and slide clear across the median? Why was the truck driver going so fast? Was he pressured by the trucking company he worked for to push through the blizzard and get the load delivered? Was the semi truck properly maintained and outfitted for hazardous winter weather?

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.

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 – especially when driving through hazardous blizzard conditions. Truckers and trucking corporations must be vigilant about safety.

Visit our trucking accident web site to learn more about trucking accident safety or trucking accident investigation.

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


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  1. JMurman says:
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    Troll lawyers.

  2. Facebook User says:
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    As to this specific accident neither you or I can comment as to the cause. However I am certain that you know that in many studies it is found that 75% of the time there is an accident involving a passenger vehicle and a commercial vehicle the driver of the passenger vehicle is to blame. In my opinion the scare tactics used in this commentary are abhorrent, and I would not hire any attorney that was distorting facts to make a quick buck. I can only hope that the general public is smart enough to truly research those they hire, and leave attorneys that are just looking to make a paycheck from others self caused pain.

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    “Troll lawyers” and “quick buck.” Is this the best we can come up with? Mr. Emison poses questions that do need answering. I would also ad that adverse weather conditions is specifically addressed by the FMCSR Accident Countermeasures which instruct Motor carriers and their drivers that “Failure to adjust to adverse conditions is a major factor in accident causation” Combine this with similar discussions in every states CDL training manual and you have a driver and company that should have been aware to take extra precautions. I do not know if any were taken in this case. Nonetheless, the driving public has seen for too many years carriers and drivers alike ignore these well established safety rules in favor of making a “quick buck”

  4. Rhonda says:
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    everyone wants to blame the truck driver. sometimes it is the trk drivers fault but most of the time it is the idiots that drive these 4 wheelers. for example if a trk is going up a hill/mountain at a very slow speed, that doesn’t mean that the trk will be comming down the hill/mt at the same speed so don’t get right in front of the trk will it tops the hill. also i think everyone that drives a 4 wheeler should sit in a simulator or talk to a truck driver and see what we actually go thru everyday to get all the products that everyone in america owns, to the stores etc. everybody wants to blame everything on us truck drivers, they should also take into consideration these idiots that drive these 4 wheelers don’t have any or enough knowledge about big trucks so maybe everyone that doesn’t drive or knows someone that drives a big truck should receive more knowledge and then maybe they will have more respect for the truck drivers. it makes me mad that everyone wants to blame the truck drivers. If we all quit or went on strike,everyone would maybe realize us and what we do for them

  5. Brett Emison says:
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    Thanks to the above comments for reading and caring enough to share their thoughts. Let me respond to some briefly:

    JMurman – your comment is thoughtless, libelous and deserve no comment other than shame on you.

    Facebook User – your anonymous comment is little better. You show your true colors and lack of character by resorting to name calling and mud-slinging. I made no judgment as to the cause of the accident, I simply commented on the reports of the crash from several independent news sources and asked questions that should be answered.

    You, sir, do not know me. You, sir, do not know my motivation. You appear to defend truck drivers no matter what they do. In your mind no truck driver can do any wrong; anyone who says different has an alterior motive; and all attorneys are greedy sharks who cannot be trusted. It is clear from your comments that you failed to read the post or the independent news reports.

    Jeremy – thank you for your thoughtful comment. I agree completely.

    Rhonda — thank you for thoughtful and passionate post. Please know that my post is not intended to condemn all truck drivers. The vast majority of truck drivers are good, honest and hardworking people. They play by the rules.

    However, you and I both know there are bad apples. And bad apples behind the wheel of an 80,000 to 120,000 pound rig with up to three trailers can have tragic consequences.

    “4 wheelers” do need to be careful around semi trucks — as I, myself, have said several times (for example, see http://kansascity.injuryboard.com/tractor-trailer-accidents/tractor-trailer-accidents-cause-too-many-deaths.aspx?googleid=273182 and http://kansascity.injuryboard.com/automobile-accidents/spring-break-road-trip-check-list.aspx?googleid=276562).

    All of us should want better safety on our roads, highways and interstates. All of us should want bad apples off the road. All of us should want drivers who play by the same set of rules.

    My comments here apply to the facts as reported in this case; not to truck drivers as a whole. In this case, the reported facts show that this truck driver was probably driving too fast for the conditions. This truck driver was driving his 80,000 pound rig through a snow storm, lost control and plowed over a bus filled with handicapped adults — killing four and injuring six more.

    I appreciate our good truck drivers and the service they do. We rely on them to deliver many of the goods we take for granted each day. I am sure many good truck drivers did not leave on their route during the blizzard – they caught up on rest, checked safety equipment or simply rode out the storm. Other good truck drivers drove their vehicles at a safe and controlled speed and did not lose control. The reports suggest this truck driver failed to take his responsibility seriously enough and the result was tragic.

  6. Jmurman says:
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    Brett your comments are typically ‘lawyer” and are nothing more than a troll for dollars.

    “JMurman – your comment is thoughtless, libelous and deserve no comment other than shame on you.”

    Shame on me? I didn’t make this statement “How fast was this truck driver going that his vehicle could jackknife and slide clear across the median? Why was the truck driver going so fast?”

    You are assuming that the driver was going ‘fast’. How do you know? You don’t know do you? You don’t know the conditions for a tractor trailer to jack knife do you? Was the driver cut in front of by a four whee;er? Was he trying to avoid a collision which made him make a sharp correction? Its the ‘correction’ that will jack knife a truck…NOT speed alone.

    Again your trolling for negative law emotion on the above statement. The next questions are good questions to ask.

    “Was he pressured by the trucking company he worked for to push through the blizzard and get the load delivered? Was the semi truck properly maintained and outfitted for hazardous winter weather?”

    Yet I see NO actions from the legal community to go after the trucking companies, just the drivers and the companies as a deep pocket.

    If you really want to see change, sue the Federal DOT for changes made to the rules concerning winter driving for CMV’s. But then again that would cut into your income so I won’t hold my breath on that one.

    Until then you have the stench of lawyers trying to ambulance chase.

  7. Brett Emison says:
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    JMurman – You do not know me nor could you possibly purport to know my motives. You resort to name calling and slurs. I refuse to do the same, but your conduct betrays your own motives and shows your lack of character.

    Yes, sir. Shame on you.

    You do a disservice to thoughful commenters and you do a disservice to those who you purport to defend. Whatever persuasiveness you intend is lost amid the tired protestations and mud slinging of the weak-minded.

    According to you – whom I’ve never met – I am a “typical ‘lawyer'” (whatever that is) and a “troll for dollars” (again, whatever that is). According to you, I actually want people killed so I can make money.

    I wonder what happened in your life that you would make this statement publicly about someone you have never met.

    Yes, sir, shame on you.

    I have disparaged no one. In fact, I made clear that I believe most truck drivers are good, safe drivers who take their responsiblity behind the wheel seriously. We should all focus on weeding out the bad apples. Instead, you make unfounded personal attacks towards me.

    I have not attacked anyone personally — not even you. I have not resorted to name calling or slurs — not even to you. I have only documented a terrible crash and raised questions you admitted were pertinent and proper.

    I did not make up these facts. I never purported to have first-hand knowledge, nor did I purport to know precisely how fast this truck driver was going. I knew only that he was going fast enough to slide out of control across an interstate median and kill four innocent people.

    These are the facts as reported by several different independent news sources.

    It was you who speculated as to the facts — imagining that some “four wheeler” cut off this truck driver or that this driver was swerving to avoid some other imaginary accident.

    I have shared my experiences and called to light this terrible tragedy. I am no “ambulance chasing troll.” I am a proud trial lawyer.

    I am proud of my work helping real people whose lives have been ruined by tragedy. I am proud that I have helped the families of those who have been injured, paralyzed, maimed, burned and killed – not by any fault of their own – but by the fault of others. I am proud that I take the risk and responsibility for giving my clients back just a portion of the life they had taken from them. None of my clients ever asked for their fate.

    Yes, sir. Shame on you.

  8. Truckie D says:
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    Here’s a question: Did the highway on which this crash happened have cable (or any other) barriers in the median?

  9. Brett Emison says:
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    Truckie D — That is a good question. The AP video included in the post above would suggest that there were no cables or barriers.

    The cables to which you refer are remarkably effective at preventing vehicles — even semi trucks — from crossing the median into oncoming traffic.