Semi-trailer trucks appear to possess an immunity from injury and damage if they are struck by another vehicle. However, a recent collision on the Artesia (91) Freeway in Long Beach offers proof that this theory is not infallible.
According to officers of the California Highway Patrol, a Freightliner semi-trailer truck was heading north in the number one lane when it was rear-ended by a 2004 Toyota. The Toyota appears to have been traveling at an illegal speed when it struck the center divider.
This impact pushed the Toyota into the rear of the big rig. The driver of the semi lost control of his vehicle, and the truck traveled off the roadway. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Toyota was hospitalized for treatment of minor injuries.
After the Toyota driver was released from the hospital, he was arrested, but the nature of the criminal charges was not disclosed.
The initial media reports of this accident did not disclose enough information to form a concrete understanding about potential liability. If the Toyota driver was in fact speeding, and if the excessive speed caused him to hit the median strip and collide with the big rig, that driver may have been negligent.
The truck driver’s family will most likely have a cause of action under California’s wrongful death statute for damages against the Toyota driver. More facts may emerge from the CHP’s ongoing investigation.
Valuable advice from a truck accident attorney
Anyone who has suffered an injury or lost a loved one under similar circumstances may wish to consult an experienced truck accident attorney for an evaluation of the evidence and an opinion about the likelihood of recovering damages.