Seven people were injured in a six-vehicle accident on Highway 99 in Northern California on July 10. According to reports, the truck accident happened around 2 a.m. just north of Powerline Road. Authorities say the driver of a 2010 Freightliner semi did not notice that traffic was stopped ahead and skidded into a 2014 Ford Expedition after failing to brake in time to avoid the vehicle.
The Expedition was pushed into the vehicle in front of it, setting off a chain reaction that ended up involving four more vehicles. According to the California Highway Patrol, traffic was being controlled by flaggers because of construction on Feather River Bridge.
Seven people were transported to the University of California-Davis Medical Center and Rideout Memorial Hospital. Most of the injuries reported appeared to be minor, and all involved were expected to survive. The driver of the semi was not among those taken to the hospital and did not appear to have suffered any injuries in the crash.
According to the California Highway Patrol, all of the lanes of the highway were blocked and debris was scattered everywhere after the crash. Traffic was eventually rerouted across the bridge, and Highway 99 was clear by 5:30 a.m.
Road construction can slow down traffic, but it can also increase the chance of an accident due to changes in traffic patterns, narrow lanes and unexpected stops. Drivers must be alert and aware of traffic conditions at all times to ensure a timely response to slowed vehicles ahead. This is especially important for truck drivers because the weight and momentum of the vehicles means they take longer to slow down or stop.
In cases where an inattentive or overtired driver fails to response appropriately to changing traffic conditions and causes an accident, the victims may have legal options including a civil suit to seek compensation. Truck drivers as well as the company for which they work can be held liable.
Source: Appeal Democrat, “7 injured in six-vehicle crash” Monica Vaughan, Jul. 11, 2014