By: A Staff Writer
A fiery collision, which ended with a 15-truck pileup on the Interstate 5 in Santa Clarita Friday killed three people, including two adults and one child and left at least 10 people injured. According to an Associated Press news report, the chain reaction crash, triggered off when two trucks collided, started out in a tunnel near the Antelope Valley Freeway, which serves as a major connector between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Fire officials who described the scene to the wire service, said flames that shot out of the tunnel leaped as high as 60 to 70 feet and snagged traffic on the freeway over the weekend.
Emergency personnel evacuated 20 people out of the tunnel while five trucks were caught inside, the report said. Officials say although the tunnel is a primary route for trucks, passenger cars also travel through it. They were worried that others unable to escape may be trapped in the tunnel, seriously or even fatally injured.
Many who were evacuated reportedly suffered burns, neck and back injuries. The injuries were described as moderate to minor, which was of course very fortunate given the seriousness of the incident. That part of the freeway, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles could be shut down for a day or two, officials told the Associated Press.
This has been a particularly bad month for truck accidents in Southern California. Earlier this week in Orange County, we saw a similar, although smaller accident where two big rigs collided on the 5 Freeway in Santa Ana. There is no doubt that these accidents are dangerous and often turn out to be fatal. When two large vehicles ram into one another, it’s like a bomb going off on the freeway.
This is a tragic crash that took the lives of three people and injured many others. I hope the people who were hurt and the family of the deceased will call a personal injury attorney who can conduct a thorough investigation of this incident. How did it occur? Who caused it? What caused it? Was it one of the driver’s fault or negligence? Was it because one of the trucks had a mechanical malfunction? Did the trucking companies not maintain their vehicles properly?
Another important aspect to this crash is the tunnel where it occurred. How stable was this tunnel? Was Caltrans maintaining it properly? If this crash was in fact the result of poor design on the part of Caltrans, it probably does not fall under the state’s immunity laws for Caltrans and the agency could be held liable for the deaths and injuries in this horrific accident.
Obviously, many questions remain to be answered in this incident. An experienced and knowledgeable California truck accident attorney may be able to find the answers by conducting a thorough, independent investigation and make sure that your legal rights are protected.