Anyone who has traveled the interstate highways in Ohio has seen semi-trailer trucks parked on the side of the road. The large size of these vehicles makes them a significant hazard when they are stopped. The drivers are not always able to move their truck completely out of the driving lane, and a parked truck may encroach on the right-of-way of vehicles using the same lane. A recent collision between two semis near on the Ohio Turnpike near Sandusky shows how a stopped semi can create a significant risk for other truck drivers.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a semi-trailer truck had pulled out of the westbound travel lane and parked on the paved shoulder. A second west bound semi swerved to the right as it approached the parked truck, and it slammed into the parked semi. The driver of the moving truck was trapped in his cab by the impact of the collision. First responders needed an hour to extract him, after which he was sent him via emergency vehicle to St. Vincent Hospital.
He is reported to have suffered life-threatening injuries, but no further information has been released. Neither the driver nor the passenger in the stopped truck suffered any injuries.
Police have given no explanation for the erratic route of the second truck and no reasons why the first truck was stopped. Police have said that the driver of the stopped truck set out approved US DOT-approved warning triangles behind the truck.
If the driver of the second truck was an employee, his employer will be required to pay him workers compensation benefits for lost wages, medical expenses and any temporary or permanent disability. The driver of the moving truck may also wish to explore the possibility of starting what is called a “third-party claim” against the owner of the stopped truck if the police investigation indicates that the driver may have been negligent.
Examples of such negligence include failing to park the truck a sufficient distance from the travel lanes, failing to set out the warning triangles a sufficient distance behind the truck or switching on the truck’s warning lights.
Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one under similar circumstances may wish to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for an evaluation of the evidence and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages.