Accidents involving semi-tractor trailers are often serious. One of the reasons for the severity behind an accident is the sheer size of the truck and the load it is hauling. It is because of this that truck drivers are held to a higher standard than automobile drivers. Truck drivers are responsible for taking regular breaks after so many hours on the road. Their vehicles are also required to undergo regular maintenance. There are situations when drivers behind the wheel of large vehicles, such as rental trucks, are not required to the same licensing standards because the vehicles they are driving are not as large. However, it is this unfamiliarity to the size of such a vehicle that can often lead to highway hazards.
One man is dead following an accident involving a tractor-trailer and a rental truck in North Carolina. Investigators with the North Carolina Highway Patrol say the truck crash occurred on I-85 South when the victim's rental truck collided with the back of the 18-wheeler, which was stationary in the right lane of the highway at the time.
The 59-year-old driver of the rental truck, a North Carolina native, was killed in the accident. The 55-year-old driver of the semi-truck was in the vehicle's cab at the time of the collision. He sustained injuries and was taken to a medical center to receive treatment. Local media sources report that he has since been released.
An officer with the NCHP explained that the semi-truck had broken down in the highway's southbound lane, its driver unable to pull to the shoulder. While the officer did not investigate the crash, he hypothesized that the driver of the rental truck did not notice the neglected semi-truck due to a lack of skid marks on the road. Police are unsure of how fast the victim was traveling at the time of the crash, but noted that the speed limit is 60 mph for the area in which the crash occurred.
Police reached the crash scene at approximately 5:00 a.m., shutting down traffic in both directions for a number of hours while cleanup crews cleared debris from the roadway. The NCHP says the debris was gone by about 9:30 a.m. Officers that responded to the crash say they noticed that someone had set up warning triangles around the disabled tractor-trailer, but they had been run over by the time they arrived.
Source: Gaston Gazette, "Gastonia man dies in truck wreck," Wade Allen, Feb. 7, 2012