There are many causes of motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey, including drunk driving, inattentive driving, poor weather conditions, and even debris of vehicles left in the roadway. When objects or items fall out of vehicles or from cargo trucks, other motorists are unable to react timely to avoid a collision. Depending on the speed and size of the vehicles and the type of the debris, this type of crash can be minor to serious, or may even turn fatal.
According to NJ.com, on Oct. 7, a tanker truck driver was killed in a fiery crash that occurred around 3:15 p.m. on the New Jersey Turnpike at mile marker 109.6 in Kearny. A preliminary investigation by the State Police indicates that debris left by a cargo van played a role in the crash.
Authorities said a pile of mattresses on top of the cargo van sprang loose onto the Turnpike. A Honda CRV, in an attempt to avoid hitting the mattresses in the roadway, had cut off the tanker truck traveling in the center lane. The truck driver tried to avoid hitting the vehicles around him by swerving off the road.
The tanker truck slid across the right lane and shoulder, slammed into the guardrail, flipped over, and was engulfed in flames. The truck driver, who was trapped inside his vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the SUV suffered minor injuries.
It can be very difficult for motorists to avoid road debris, especially on freeways and highways with heavy and fast moving traffic. While a huge concrete beam falling from a large truck is a serious safety concern for those on the road, small objects can sometimes cause big problems. Loose items falling from the bed of a pickup truck, fallen construction equipment and supplies, spilled pallets, improperly-secured mattress, and even large auto parts of poorly maintained vehicles can cause serious accidents.
Once involved in accidents, tanker trucks have the potential to cause more damage than any other types of vehicles. After a forceful impact, tanker trucks are more likely to tip over than most large trucks because they are top-heavy, and they can explode because they usually transport flammable chemicals such as gasoline.
Fatalities that could have been easily avoided are very difficult to bear for the victims’ surviving family members. Had someone spent a few minutes securing mattresses onto their vehicle, this tragic fiery Turnpike accident would have not occurred.