A fiery big rig accident on the northbound 101 highway at Santa Rosa road resulted in three injuries and the death of the big rig driver on Thursday afternoon, according to KEYT.com. Santa Barbara County Fire, water tenders, a battalion chief, helicopter, AMR and Hazmat team responded to the crash.
The fatal accident occurred when, for as of yet unknown reasons, a big rig veered out of control and hit a BMW in the lane to its left before crashing into the concrete guardrail and falling into the creek about 50 feet below. The truck burst into flames after smashing into the creek bed. The occupants of the BMW, a 38-year-old mother and her two children, a 10-year-old daughter and 10-week-old infant, were trapped in the vehicle, which was precariously dangling off the side of a bridge after the truck had swerved into it.
The truck driver was killed in the crash, which also caused the spillage of about 50 gallons of diesel fuel into the creek. All three occupants of the BMW, who sustained broken bones and other moderate injuries, were immediately transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Both directions of the 101 were closed due to the crash.
Though the cause of this accident has not yet been determined, there are many potential reasons why a big rig may lose control. Truck driver fatigue is a common problem in the trucking industry and it is possible that the driver fell asleep at the wheel after too many hours on the road. There are many other possibilities, however, that are not related to truck driver negligence. Some of these include: hazardous road conditions, brake failure, and/or mechanical or equipment defects.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a California truck accident caused by the negligence of a truck driver, trucking company or truck manufacturer, you may be entitled to compensation for the losses you have suffered. To learn more about your legal rights and options, contact an experienced Santa Barbara truck accident attorney with the Law Offices of Renee J. Nordstrand today for a consultation at (805) 962-2022.