Bicyclists Injured when Lift Gate Flies Off Tractor Trailer

Four cyclists in Port Richey on Florida’s Gulf Coast were out enjoying a group ride on a recent Monday evening when they were involved in a horrific accident in which all four were injured as a result of a truck driver’s negligence. The accident occurred when a 18-wheel tractor trailer took a turn and its wheelchair lift gate flew out from the back of the truck directly into the four cyclists, causing serious injuries to all four and critically injuring two in the process. The driver originally fled the scene, later claiming he did not know the lift gate flew open and hit the cyclists and that he was not even aware of the incident. This accident highlights the dangers presented when drivers, particularly of large commercial vehicles like the truck involved in this incident, do not take the simple, yet imperative, step of ensuring all parts of their vehicles are adequately secured. When someone is negligent in not adequately securing their vehicle and its cargo in its entirety before departing, it is someone else who bears the brunt of that individual’s negligence, just as occurred to these bicyclists.

The Port Richey Accident

According to a report from the local ABC news affiliate in Port Richey, the four bicyclists were rushed to local hospitals following the accident. The 18-wheeler was a Florida Cancer Specialists mobile PET/CT scanner whose door flew open when the vehicle made a turn, causing the lift to pop out and hit the group of four bicyclists who were riding down Ridge Road in Port Richey when the incident occurred. The lift hit the cyclists with such force that all four of them suffered serious injuries. According to media reports, Port Richey Police Chief Gerard DeCanio was quoted as saying that at least two of the four bicyclists were so badly injured that they needed emergency surgery in order to be stabilized enough to survive. Early indication from reports of the police investigation of the incident show that the wheelchair metal lift on the 18-wheeler carrying medical equipment was not secured properly before the driver left his destination. This is simply an example of how one driver’s carelessness can lead to injuries, in this case critical injuries, of innocent victims simply because the driver did not take the time to ensure his vehicle was properly secured before getting behind the wheel.

Negligence in Failing to Secure Spare Tires and Other Objects to Vehicles and the Injuries That Can Result 

Although this recent Port Richey incident is a fairly unique situation factually, it is not as uncommon an occurrence as you would think to have objects fly off a vehicle and either hit another motorist who is traveling in the same direction or a bicyclist or pedestrian who is nearby. Spare tires regularly fly off 18-wheeler trucks on the highway if they have not been adequately secured by the truck’s driver. In addition, other objects that have not been properly secured can also fly off a vehicle if not appropriately tied down or restrained. This is a particular problem for commercial vehicles and pickup trucks; anyone who has driven in South Florida can recall an instance of seeing an overloaded truck driving down I-95 or I-75 seemingly waiting for something to fly out of the truck. However, what those who overload their vehicles in such a manner and then operate their vehicles neglect to think about is that they could seriously injure or even kill someone else as a result of their negligence.

 Contact Schwed Adams & McGinley if You Have Been Injured in a Florida Bicycle Accident

If you are a cyclist and you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in Florida, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney who has represented cyclists who have been injured by Florida motorists in the past in order to help you to recover maximum damages for your injuries. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. today. We have achieved great success in representing clients in collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles, and other situations in which our clients were riding a bike and were injured, during our attorneys’ more than 150 combined years of practicing law in Florida. Contact us today at (877) 694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation regarding your situation.