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Update | Redding Fatality Crash Occurs in Underride Accident

Fatal Accident on SR 299 Involves Big Rig Underride

A fatality crash occurred near Redding on August 13 when a semi and motor vehicle collided. The accident happened along eastbound State Route 299 just west of Powerhouse Road in the Fall River Mills area shortly after 5:00 a.m. The incident report by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said that the car involved in the collision was found underneath the semi when officers arrived at the scene and caused a fatality. Officials have recently identified the decedent as Maria Little White Swan Riggins, 25, of Montgomery Creek.

Big Rig Sustains Front-End Damage in Fatality Crash

The big rig had to be removed from the scene by a wrecker and had sustained front-end damage. A fuel spill occurred also from the saddle tank on the big rig. The CHP is investigating the fatal collision to determine how it happened.

Underride and Override Accidents

Underride and override accidents involving a big rig are among the most dangerous types of collisions with these large vehicles. Fatalities to those in passenger vehicles are common. Big rigs hauling long trailers behind them can cause a deadly crash that may not occur in other motor vehicles.

Accidents Caused by an Override

Because tractor-trailers require much longer stopping distances, they can pass over the top of other vehicles if they are too close. There is a high incidence of fatalities from roof collapses in the smaller vehicles and traumatic head injuries. Some of the causes of an override that turns into a fatality crash include:

  • It is possible that the semi driver is speeding and unable to stop in time to avoid an accident.
  • Override accidents are sometimes caused by blown tires, brake failures or steering problems on semis.
  • It is difficult to see vehicles up ahead when the weather is foggy or it is raining, sleeting or snowing. It is possible for a trucker to cause an override accident if they travel too fast for the weather conditions.
  • Other traffic has the right of way, but the big rig driver does not yield.
  • Whenever a passenger vehicle slows down or stops quickly in an emergency, a truck driver following too closely behind can end up causing an override.
  • A leak in the brake lines causes the truck driver to be unable to stop due to a mechanical problem.

Accidents Associated with Underrides in a Fatality Crash

The motorist can pass underneath a tractor-trailer from the rear if they are traveling too closely behind it. There is a high rate of fatalities in these accidents. The following are examples of negligence that can lead to an underride accident caused by a truck driver:

  • Motorists may not notice the truck is slowing or stopping because of its nonfunctioning rear lights.
  • There is no underride protection on the truck, or it is too old to protect those who might hit it.
  • Motorists are unable to see the truck due to dirty or missing reflective tape.
  • Due to the lack of lighting, the motorist cannot see the truck parked along the roadside shoulder. 
  • The trucker did not place the required flares or warning signs that they were parked on the roadside.
  • While changing lanes, the trucker fails to use his/her turn signal to warn other drivers.

Truck Accident Lawyer in Redding

I’m Ed Smith, a truck accident lawyer in Redding. Accidents with big rigs can cause traumatic injuries or fatalities to those in smaller vehicles. If this happened to you or your family lost a loved one because of a negligent trucker, contact us at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400 if you would like free and friendly advice from one of our accident attorneys about placing a claim to recover compensation. We can also be reached online.

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Photo attribution: Image by Denise McQuillen from Pixabay 

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