These stories will have you buckled up and driving safely in no time. From the fall of 2014 to the first few weeks of the New Year we have encountered chilling stories about accidents involving semi-trucks. Some made it out with luck on their side, but others paid the price with their life.
Starting with a terrifying accident that was witnessed in the fall of last year when the driver of a semi-truck hauling large metal sheets slammed on his brakes to avoid colliding with a car making a turn according to an article on wesh.com. The metal snapped the multiple tie downs and plunged through the back of the truck’s cab. Witnesses stated that the driver was immediately crushed by the metal as he was pushed into the steering wheel. The vehicle he was avoiding was not impacted. The driver of the semi was one of two employees at Sunshine Freight Carriers; they were already under thorough inspections at the time of the accident because of multiple safety violations as well as 17 maintenance inspection failures. The young driver was crushed to death yet it could have been prevented.
Barely two weeks after that incident was another unnerving story out of Starke, Florida; involving a school bus with elementary students aboard. The school bus driver was stopped on Highway 301 and NW 183 street letting kids off at their assigned stop when a semi-truck crashed into the rear of the bus as reported on a local news site. The impact was so hard that the bus was catapulted forward into a field; witnesses say the semi-truck was travelling at 60mph! In fact, a young man was already on the phone with the Florida Highway Patrol reporting the semi-truck for driving erratically before it struck the school bus. The two passengers in the semi-truck were under investigation since the female passenger was not fully clothed when deputies arrived. Seven children out of the 15 on the bus were taken to the hospital along with the bus driver.
WFTV reported on Monday February 2nd of this year, a semi-truck hit a guard rail on the busy Florida Turnpike causing the truck to roll over and spill 100 gallons of fuel. Both the north and south bound lanes were blocked causing traffic delays in Orange County. When a truck leaks fuel, it is an absolute emergency. If you witness a semi-truck roll over, call 911 immediately and keep a safe distance from the vessel ensuring your safety and the safety of others.
A little north of us here in the Tampa Bay area, a logging tractor-trailer spilled several logs on highway 17 and A1A in Yulee on Thursday February 5th. The logs spilled not once, but twice after the truck avoided a collision with a car that veered into his lane. The giant truck crashed due to moving away from the oncoming vehicle where logs spilled off the trailer and blocked the highway. Tractor-trailers must adhere to strict guidelines for safety however incidences like this one do occur and can be tragic. Luckily no one was injured and the logs were loaded back up, but it could have been a much more dangerous outcome.
During the early morning hours of the same day a semi-truck was also trying to avoid a car doing a U-turn causing it to roll over and block the entire westbound lane. The sun was not yet up so a responsible garbage truck pulled over and illuminated the vehicle with its high-beam lights. Unfortunately, two sedans did not see the overturned truck and crashed into it at speeds of 60 mph on State Road 44, just shy of I-75 in Wildwood Fl,. Luck was with all 3 drivers involved in the accident, and none were killed. The driver who pulled the last minute U-turn fled the scene. If you witness an accident similar to this one, ensure your safety and try to catch a good description of the fleeing vehicle.
On January 15th 2015 a less fortunate accident involving a Ford Sport Trac carrying 5 passengers and a semi-truck carrying seafood products collided on Highway 100 in Putnam County. This crash is still under investigation as drugs and alcohol have not been ruled out. One person in the SUV died while the other 4 passengers were transported to UF Health in Gainesville in critical condition. The semi-truck driver was uninjured. This accident was reported by First Coast News.
Let all of these stories keep you alert, aware, and respectful of the road. We check twice for motorcycles and we urge you to give space for semi-trucks.