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Concrete truck flips over van in fatal Tennessee crash

At least one person was killed recently in a horrifying collision between a passenger van and a concrete truck on a Tennessee highway. The concrete truck reportedly rolled over the van and rescue workers had to cut passengers out of the van using the jaws of life.

According to police, the serious accident occurred near Friendsville when a passenger van carrying five people collided with the concrete truck, which was carrying gunite, a material used in the construction of swimming pools. Both vehicles rolled over, according to police, and the concrete truck spilled its load of gunite on the highway. Rescue workers had to use the jaws of life to cut open the van in order to get the passengers out. One was pronounced dead at the scene. The four others, including a 3-year-old child, were sent to local hospitals. The driver of the concrete truck was also hospitalized. The accident is still under investigation.

Truck accidents are more dangerous than traffic accidents involving only passenger cars simply because of the size difference. A typical passenger car weighs about 3,000 pounds, but a commercial truck can weigh 80,000 pounds or more. A collision between a large truck and a passenger car is almost certain to result in serious injury or death.

The legal implications of commercial truck accidents are also more complicated than those of ordinary traffic accidents. When someone is injured due to another driver's negligence, the injured person may be compensated for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages through a personal injury lawsuit filed against the negligent driver. However, in the case of a commercial truck accident, there may be other parties found liable.

For example, a trucking company may be found liable for injuries resulting from an accident involving one of its truck drivers. In some cases, a trucking company may be found to be negligent because it violated regulations by forcing drivers on the road without adequate rest. In other cases, those responsible for maintaining a commercial truck may be found liable if they failed to fix faulty brakes and this contributed to the accident. Tennessee families affected by a commercial truck accident should get help researching the applicable laws and understanding their legal options.

Source: The Daily Times, "'Serious, serious wreck:' One dead, several injured in West Lamar Alexander Parkway accident," J.J. Kindred, June 10, 2013

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