On June 20, 2018, a devastating tractor-trailer accident occurred on the Outer Loop lanes of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Forest Heights, Maryland. The crash resulted in explosions, a fire, one death, and numerous personal injuries. On that Wednesday morning a little before 11 AM, the driver of the tractor-trailer lost control of his rig and collided into a warning truck that was positioned as a shield to a boom truck on the bridge.
The boom truck ignited as a result of the impact and another car belonging to a worker was also set on fire after the initial conflagration. Four crew members working on the bridge incurred various personal injuries. Three of those individuals were positioned over the side of the bridge when the crash occurred. Another seven individuals received medical attention after the truck accident.
The crash and resulting conflagration
As the tractor-trailer traveled through the construction zone, the driver either lost control or miscalculated in some manner. As a result, the front of the truck crashed into one of the smaller construction vehicles in front of the larger boom truck. The force of the impact caused both the boom truck and the tractor-trailer to explode in flames. In addition, a number of civilians in cars were also dragged into the collision.
A witness to the incident mentions hearing several explosions. As the flames from the burning vehicles spread, construction workers working over the side and underneath the bridge became trapped by the extensive blaze.
According to Prince George’s County police, a police boat was patrolling the waters of the Potomac when officers witnessed the explosion resulting from the tractor-trailer impact. Subsequently, the officers of the boat were able to position their vessel to rescue the stranded workers by lowering them down into the boat.
Eight individuals were evacuated by medics, treated, and released, with the exception of the boom operator who was transported to the hospital for additional medical attention.
About 100 firefighters from various surrounding communities were dispatched to the scene and worked together to mitigate the fiery blaze.
The danger posed by tractor-trailers
As this example reveals, large tractor-trailers can be challenging to operate. Driving these rigs through and past narrower passageways due to construction activities can increase the difficulty and risk. In some cases, a truck driver may bear responsibility for a crash due to negligent driving activities here she engaged in such as failing to appropriately reduce speed, reckless driving, driving distracted, or driving fatigued. Accidents that occur due to these reasons can result in serious injuries and in the worst case, fatalities.
Truck drivers and the trucking companies they work for are responsible for employing appropriate safety measures to lessen the possibility of the types of tragic crashes mentioned above. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury due to a crash with a tractor-trailer or some other type of commercial truck, the experienced legal team at the premier Maryland law firm of Plaxen & Adler is here to help you. We want you to receive the compensation you deserve at this difficult time. Call us today at 410.988.4449 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case.