According to authorities, a multi-vehicle car accident involving a tractor trailer and a couple other cars on I-78, caused three people to tragically lose their lives. The tractor trailer apparently tried to pass a box truck, and in the process collided with a car in front of him. As a result of the tractor trailer and car collision impact, the car that was struck, collided with other vehicles.
At some point the car caught fire. According to authorities, the flames spread to other cars. A 57-year-old man and 54-year-old woman in one of the cars which caught fire were not able to exit their vehicle, and were killed in the blaze. However, at least one other driver whose vehicle was also on fire was able to escape with only minor injuries. The 52-year-old driver of the vehicle which was struck by the tractor trailer also lost his life. Additionally, two other people who were impacted by the tragic car accident did not sustain serious injuries.
Authorities believe that the tractor trailer driver did not see the car in front of him when he attempted to overtake the box truck. Furthermore, once the fire engulfed the car he hit, the tractor trailer driver did not realize that about half of the car was under his truck, and attempted to back up to get away from the fire. In the process, he ended up dragging the car nearly 70 feet and spreading the fire to his own truck. The tractor trailer driver did not sustain any injuries.
According to Pennsylvania DOT, the I-78 stretch where the accident occurred is a narrow stretch and not ideal for a tractor trailer. It is a particularly dangerous a stretch because it does not have a large shoulder. The fatalities are 40% higher in this area, and the crash rate is a little over 70% greater than the state average.
When a life is needlessly lost in a car accident, the surviving family members are left to make sense of it all. When an accident happens due to a driver not observing traffic laws, a grieving family may be able to hold the negligent driver responsible by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. A lost life cannot be brought back, but a grieving family may find solace in holding a negligent party responsible, and potentially preventing such incidents from happening to someone else.
Source: NBC 10, “Pa. Prosecutor Among Victims of Fiery Highway Crash,” May 15, 2014