Big Rig Accident On I 5 Causes Fire

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February 20, 2019
Edward Smith

Big Rig Fire on Northbound Interstate 5

A big rig fire on February 15 along northbound Interstate 5 resulted in the closure of the right lane for over six hours. The big rig apparently caught on fire sometime around 4:30 in the morning and was quickly engulfed in flames. The northbound lane was closed between Hood Franklin and Lambert roads, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) logs. Sacramento fire personnel quickly arrived at the scene and extinguished the fire.

Waiting for the Accident Site to Be Cleared

Caltrans crews were unavailable to come and clear away the destroyed big rig. This caused traffic to back up along northbound I-5 as far as Twin Cities Road by 7:30 a.m. By 11:00 a.m., there was still no word that a crew with Caltrans was on its way.

Highway Fires

Fortunately, this big rig fire did not result in any injuries or fatalities. However, if it were to occur during heavy traffic, a fire could potentially spread to other motor vehicles. This could cause serious burn injuries. Most big rig fires are due to negligence, either on the part of the driver or the company that employs that person. When this happens, those who are injured may claim damages for their injuries if a trucker or company ignores their basic responsibilities.

Highway Vehicle Fires

Highway vehicle fires are surprisingly common with around 171,000 occurring around the United States between 2014 and 2016. Vehicle fires account for 13 percent of those responded to by fire departments, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Of those accidents, 8.8 percent are caused by freight road transport vehicles such as big rigs. Although there are many types of truck accidents, fires can be among the most dangerous, especially if other vehicles are involved. Most vehicle fires have the following causes:

  • 65 percent of big rig fires begin in the engine area or the cabin.
  • 14 percent of big rig fires are due to a bad wheel bearing. When wheel bearings fail or become overheated, it can cause the grease to catch fire.
  • 10 percent of all fires involving big rigs begin in the trailer.
  • 6 percent of all big rig fires start in the brakes. This can be due to driving too fast, which necessitates extreme braking while going down a steep hill. It can also occur because of defects in the brakes.
  • 4 percent of big rig fires are caused by faulty trailer freezers.

Related Articles by Sacramento Truck Accident Attorney Ed Smith:

Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento truck accident lawyer. Being injured in an accident that was not your fault is bad enough. However, it is compounded when negligence by another driver or company was the cause. If this happened to you or to someone you care about, I would like to offer you my free and friendly advice. Please call me at (916) 921-6400 locally or through my toll-free line at (800) 404-5400 if you are outside the area. At my website,, I also offer a convenient online form that you can fill out, and I will call you back.

I belong to the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, a group of lawyers who are recognized for their dedication to legal excellence. In addition, I’m a California member of the Million Dollar Forum, which accepts only those trial lawyers who’ve won more than one million dollars for a previous client.

For 37 years, I’ve worked hard to win fair compensation for the residents of Sacramento and Northern California in cases involving wrongful death, all kinds of motor vehicle crashes and traumas such as brain injuries.

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Photo Attribution: Depositphotos_36039697_l-2015

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