The driver of a big-rig was burned badly when his truck crashed into another big rig on the northbound 5 Freeway in Santa Ana Tuesday afternoon. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the 36-year-old truck driver, who has not yet been identified, was trapped in the burning big-rig.
It took five rescuers to free the man as the blaze got bigger and bigger, the newspaper reported. The burning big-rig was on gear and slowly moving down the freeway even as the rescuers were trying to free the driver and put out the fire using a fire extinguisher, the article said. The driver was taken to the hospital with severe burns to his lower body.
Traffic was reportedly backed up for 10 miles Tuesday afternoon for hours on the northbound lanes. According to California Highway Patrol officers, the truck that caught on fire was carrying leather work gloves.
Well, no one seems to know how the crash happened. But we all know this – big rig crashes are quite common on Southern California freeways. How many of us are nervous when we see a big rig speeding down the freeway in our rear-view mirrors? How many of us try to avoid driving aside one of those humongous trucks loaded with God knows what?
OK, these trucks are kind of scary for many motorists. So are the numbers. Semis, tractor trailers, 18-wheelers and big rigs are huge. Their average weight is 80,000 pounds. When one of them gets involved in an accident, it can cause serious injuries and death. Each year, big trucks are involved in crashes that leave 5,000 people dead and 130,000 injured, most of them serious injuries.
Big rig crashes happen because of many reasons. Sometimes, it’s the truck driver’s own carelessness or negligence that results in the crash. More times than not, it’s a passenger car driver who was negligent. Other times, the trucking company is to blame because they work the truck drivers for longer hours than is safe or legally permitted. Some companies don’t maintain their vehicles properly, which results in mechanical malfunctions.
Sometimes, other commuters suffer and sometimes the big rig drivers themselves get hurt. My prayers are with the driver who got injured. I hope he gets a good personal injury attorney on his side who will make sure his legal rights are protected and helps him with insurance and workers compensation claims. Surely the trucking company has already had their investigators on the scene, working the case to their advantage.
When someone is seriously injured in an accident, the last thing they are thinking is getting their own investigator on the scene to protect their rights. The last think they want to be doing is dueling with an insurance company for their rightful compensation. Get a great personal injury law firm on your side to take care of these issues.