A shocking accident on a Florida highway last week claimed the lives of eleven people. The circumstances were not unusual – and led me to recall a similar case I handled outside of Houston.
According to initial reports a brush fire along a darkened highway combined with foggy conditions to create a situation that resulted in zero visibility for drivers on the road and – one by one – semis, personal trucks and automobiles all ended up crashing into each other. Bystanders claim that several vehicles burst into flames and burned to their steel shells including two semi-trucks. Four members of one family were killed and a fifth survived with severe injuries.
Several years ago in my Houston 18 wheeler accident law practice I had a similar case where my client was severely injured and another family lost two people in a multiple car truck crash on US 290 just outside of Houston. A farmer had been burning brush and the smoke crossed the road. I alleged in the semi truck accident lawsuit that the several of the truck drivers violated safety regulations and after a long fight the case settled on the day of the trial.
What remains to be determined in the Florida case is liability. According to reports, the highway patrol had shut down the highway earlier in the evening – and had only reopened moments before the initial crash that began the melee. Now family members and citizens alike are wondering what possessed the FHP to reopen the highway in what were clearly dangerous conditions.
Texas citizens will recall that last summer was one of the longest, hottest and driest on record – and one of the most ‘fire-filled’ as well. Smoke blanketed highways all along the state for several months.
Fortunately, we avoided a similar tragedy. But it is always a sad caution when we hear of multi-vehicle and multi-fatality accidents that occur when the ‘elements’ come together.
Always drive cautiously.
Greg Baumgartner is a 18 wheeler accident attorney and the founder of the Baumgartner law firm, which is dedicated to helping personal injury victims seek civil justice. If you would like to speak with a tractor-trailer wreck lawyer call the Baumgartner firm.