By John Cooper, Virginia Trucking Accident Lawyer
If you see an oversized load on the highways of Virginia or North Carolina it’s a good rule of thumb to avoid it. Although oversized loads should have escorts they can be inherently dangerous and have been responsible for some high profile crashes.
Earlier this year, a jury in Indiana awarded one of the highest wrongful death settlements in that state’s history – almost $13 million – to a man who lost his wife who was killed, along with two other women, in a crash involving a truck carrying a wind turbine.
The group was driving on U.S. 20 when their car was hit by a huge wind tower component, which was being transported on a tractor trailer, traveling east. The force of the impact caused the car to spin around, and it was then hit by a pick-up truck which was escorting the tractor trailer.
This crash killed three women instantly. The jury heard how a component of the wind turbine had been protruding into the adjacent lane. The violation was compounded by the fact that the turbine was being transported at night contrary to the law and the trucking company had fabricated the size of the load in documentation to beat the curfew.
Lawyers acting for the plaintiff found the transportation broker who had arranged the transport between the turbine manufacturing company and the trucking company knew of a state law requiring a state police escort of four to five vehicles for oversized loads. This law was not adhered to.
Earlier this year dozens of people on an Amtrak train were hurt in North Carolina when a wide road was parked on a grade crossing.
Reports from the accident scene suggested the tractor trailer was on the tracks for a considerable time before it was hit. ABC News reported on how eyewitnesses saw the truck and trailer occupy the crossing for 15 to 20 minutes, officials stated. North Carolina state highway patrol, which had at least one trooper accompanying the oversized load, said it spent about five minutes trying to negotiate the railroad crossing, ABC reported.
Although there are plenty of rules pertinent to wide loads they are not always adhered to. If you see a wide load on the highways of Virginia, North Carolina or elsewhere you should keep your distance. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving a wide load, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077.