Florida Tractor Trailer Accident Kills Five Children

A tragic accident on Interstate 75 near Gainesville recently served as a reminder of how dangerous driving on Florida’s highways can be given the omnipresent semi-trucks and tractor trailers that can be found on I-75, I-95, I-4, I-10, the Florida Turnpike and the rest of the major highways and thoroughfares throughout the state. Seven people were killed in a massive accident on a morning in early January when a semi-truck crashed into a car and caused a chain reaction accident that killed seven, including five children, and injured eight.

The accident took place when a tractor trailer and a passenger car both traveling northbound on I-75 collided and then broke through the guardrail onto the southbound lanes of the highway, where the two vehicles struck a large passenger van and a second semi-truck. A fifth vehicle then struck either some of the other vehicles’ occupants or debris in the roadway, according to a CNN report. Five of the seven children in a van from a church in Marksville, Louisiana, which was headed south on I-75 for a trip to Disney World, were killed, as were the drivers of both semi-trucks involved in the accident. Eight other individuals were injured, some of whom were taken to nearby hospitals in critical condition. I-75 was closed in both directions while firefighters battled to put out the blaze that had started from diesel fuel that had spilled onto the highway as a result of the accident. A police helicopter even landed in the woods near the accident scene to check for any survivors who may not have been accounted for.

Tractor Trailers on Florida’s Highways and Interstates: An Underappreciated Danger

 This accident on I-75 near Gainesville is not only tragic, but also concerning because it raises many of the issues regarding the dangers posed by tractor trailers on Florida’s highways that have existed for decades in Florida. Many truck drivers may be exhausted when behind the wheel simply because they are paid by the mile, which increases the incentive for drivers to keep on going, even when they may not be in any kind of condition to keep driving. This ends up resulting in truck drivers who are on the road in no shape to be driving an 80,000-pound, fully loaded truck. Many truck drivers prefer to drive at night, which runs counter to the body’s natural circadian rhythms and, if they choose to continue driving during the daytime, they can cause exactly the type of accident that occurred on I-75 near Gainesville. A truck driver who is tired and/or not alert may not be able to react in time to avoid another driver who may suddenly swerve into his lane or else suddenly brake if the need arises. Sadly, the people who end up bearing the brunt of these irresponsible decisions by truck drivers who should not be out on the road in the first place end up being unfortunate innocent third parties, like the children from Marksville, Louisiana, who were anticipating a fun trip to Disney and instead now have funerals of friends to attend.

Contact Schwed Adams if You Have Been Involved in an Accident with a Tractor Trailer in Florida

At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, our experienced personal injury attorneys have represented clients who have been seriously injured in a variety of different scenarios, including trucking accidents, for decades. The experienced personal injury attorneys of our firm have over 150 years of combined legal experience representing accident victims throughout Florida. A large majority of our firm’s practice is in the areas of auto and truck accidents, and we regularly represent clients who had the unfortunate luck to be involved in an accident with a tractor trailer or semi-truck. We understand the devastating consequences that an accident with a tractor trailer can take on a family, and we do everything in our power under Florida law to help make you and your family whole for the devastating losses that often accompany such accidents. If you or one of your loved ones have been involved in a collision with a tractor trailer in Florida, contact our firm today at contact@schwedlawfirm.com or by telephone at (877) 694-6079 for a free consultation regarding your legal rights.