Runaway Trailer Blamed for Seven Fatalities in NY Trucking Accident

Jun 2013

According to, a tragic accident in Central New York recently led to the loss of seven lives. The accident occurred when a trailer hauling crushed cars slammed into a minivan carrying two families. The trailer had disconnected from a big rig that was traveling south, before colliding with the van traveling north.

Our Buffalo injury attorneys know that tractor-trailers can be very dangerous on the roads. When a trailer is not properly secured and the trailer comes loose from the rig, the accident can have devastating consequences. Truck drivers and trucking companies have a legal obligation to ensure that this type of disaster does not occur and can be held legally responsible for losses when they fail to live up to their responsibility to the public.

Tractor-Trailer Accident Has Devastating Outcome

The tractor-trailer was a salvage truck that was driven by a 26-year-old Manlius man. There was an additional passenger in the truck at the time of the accident.  Neither of the two people in the truck suffered injuries in the crash.

When the trailer came lose from the rig, the driver of the van reportedly saw it coming and tried to swerve off of the road and out of the way. Unfortunately, this effort to avoid a collision was not successful as the trailer was moving too quickly. The trailer tore the van apart, with some of the victims ending up under the trailer.

Rescue workers at the scene of the accident had to jack the trailer up in order to retrieve the victims. Unfortunately, seven of the passengers in the van died as a result of the crash. The seven victims included four children between the ages of four and seven as well as three adults in their early 20s.

Investigators are attempting to determine the cause of the accident, with possibilities including actions on the part of the trailer driver as well as mechanical failure. The salvage company that owned the truck has been operational since last year and the truck was subject to one roadside inspection in March of this year. When the truck was inspected, there were minor violations found including the vehicle being four pounds overweight and lacking in both required reflective tape and a mandated fire extinguisher. The truck was not taken out of service as a result of this inspection.

It is clear, however, that something went very wrong leading up to this tragic crash.  Whether the trucking company or driver failed to inspect the truck, or whether the driver did something dangerous or negligent that led to the trailer detaching, there is a good chance that the driver and trucking company will be held legally liable for the wrongful death of those killed in this tragic crash.

Trucking companies can be held responsible not only for their own negligence or failure to inspect a vehicle, but also if their drivers do anything careless or negligence that leads to a crash occurring.

If you’ve been injured in Buffalo or the surrounding area, contact the Law Offices of James Morris today for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 800-477-9044.

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