We often note that when truck accidents occur, the driver of a passenger vehicle is likely to receive the worst of the crash. The size differential of a large truck is such that it often causes terrible damage to a car, pickup or SUV, while emerging with comparatively little damage. And truck drivers have a lower fatality rate in these accident than the occupant of the smaller vehicle.
But when two or more truck collide, the situation can become very different. Two trucks striking each other often produce catastrophic damage to both units and may kill or severely injure the truck drivers. Depending on how the crash occurs, even a single truck crash, where the truck runs off the road and strike a utility pole, a bridge embankment or a tree, can result in the death of the truck driver.
A truck crash last week on I-81 north of Harrisburg was apparently such a crash. A tractor-trailer was parked along the side of the interstate, perhaps with the driver taking a mandatory rest break to catch some sleep.
Another tractor-trailer was travelling northbound on I-81 when the driver misjudged his lane or failed to notice the parked truck alongside the road and sideswiped the parked unit. This caused his truck to lose control, perhaps has he overcorrected, and his truck flipped over and crashed into trees next to the road.
The coroner reported that truck driver died as a result of the crash. The condition of the other driver was not reported.
Truck driving is a dangerous occupation, with a higher death rate than law enforcement officers are subject to, as they drive thousands of miles every year and face issues of drowsy and distracted driving every day.
Perhaps this driver should have pulled off the road a few hours earlier to get some sleep. But the stakes are always high when driving a truck.
WGAL.com, "Truck driver killed in I-81 crash," April 15, 2015