Fatal Merced Big Rig Accident
I’m Ed Smith, a Merced truck accident lawyer. A tragic accident recently took the life of a Merced County man after his vehicle struck the rear-end of a semi truck.
About the Accident
On June 24, 2017, a 22-year-old man identified as a Los Banos resident was travelling westbound on Highway 152. At approximately 2:22 a.m., his 2014 Nissan Versa crashed into the back of a 2009 International tractor-trailer also travelling westbound.
The Nissa struck the big rig with enough force to become lodged under the rear-end of the truck. The Los Banos man was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The truck driver was unharmed. The accident occurred on the outskirts of Los Banos in Merced County near the Romero Visitor’s Center.
Cause of the Accident
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is still investigating the cause of the accident. They do not believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident, nor do they believe that the weather was a factor. According to first responders, both drivers involved in the accident were wearing seatbelts.
About the Big Rig Involved
Isidor Ramos, a 53-year-old man from Tijuana, Mexico was driving the International tractor-trailer involved in the accident. If the truck was not hauling a load, its weight was likely about 40,000 pounds. With a load, these vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
Authorities have not released any information about the truck’s load, but it did have a trailer attached. This means, at the least, the truck weighed around 40,000 pounds. This weight disparity is devastating to smaller vehicles in the event of an accident.
It is important if you or a loved one have been hurt or killed in an accident with a large commercial truck to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can investigate the cause of the crash and hold anyone found negligent accountable for the loss of life and/or serious injuries suffered.
Potential Causes of the Accident
Although details of the accident are still emerging, our experience as California truck accident lawyers provides insight into potential causes of the accident.
As both vehicles were travelling in the same direction on a relatively deserted highway, it is likely one or both of the drivers either became fatigued or was distracted while driving. Sometimes the brakes may fail with big trucks. It is important to find out the cause of the crash.
Role of the Trucking Company
Authorities have not stated whether the truck driver was an owner-operator or employed by a trucking company. If Ramos was employed by a company, this company may be liable for damages in the accident if any actions on their part contributed to the wreck.
This can include requiring Ramos to travel excessive hours resulting in driver fatigue. The company may also be liable if they did not provide sufficient training to Ramos on how to operate a larger vehicle according to US laws.
Many accidents like this may be caused by the slower speed of the big rigs. California law states that big rigs cannot travel more than 55 miles per hour. Depending on the load of the vehicle, many trucks will actually travel slower than this.
This can create a hazard for other drivers who may come upon one of these slower traveling vehicles. In accidents where this plays a role, the truck driver is considered to be negligent if he was travelling below 50 miles per hour without appropriate hazards, warning other drivers of his presence.
As time passes, it may become harder and harder to determine if the truck driver or the trucking company was at fault for the accident. It is therefore essential that anyone involved in a commercial trucking accident quickly seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
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Merced Truck Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith and I am a Merced truck accident lawyer. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, call me at (209) 227-1931 for free, friendly advice. I can also be reached toll free at (800) 404-5400.
You can also look at some of my results from over the years on my Past Verdicts and Settlements page.
Image Attribution: Wikimedia Commons
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