Most tragic nonsensical accidents like this one are caused by the distraction of using a cell phone, a very dangerous habit when speeding along in a fully loaded 18-wheeler just begging for car accidents to happen.
This was no fender bender on a six-lane highway; it took place on the narrow, high and sometimes harrowing bridge that crosses the broad Chesapeake Bay on a day when construction was under way. It is so harrowing that drivers sometimes actually pay other drivers to make the roller-coaster transit.
While the accident report is 45 pages long, authorities says it can easily be condensed to speed and distracted driving. It starts with a truck driver, who testifies that his attention was focused to his driver’s side mirror due to flashing headlights behind him.
It turns out that those flashing light were warning that cars were stopping ahead. Still speeding along, the big rig first hit a lady’s Chrysler, which then rear-ended a Mazda SUV. The truck then hit the Chrysler a second time, pushing it violently over the Jersey wall.
According to witnesses, the tractor-trailer smashed into the barrier of stalled cars at between 47 to 51 miles per hour. Then comes the nightmare part, the woman and her Chrysler are smashed through the Jersey wall and go tumbling into the bay below. The victim recounts that she got one good scream of terror in before her mouth filled with water. Somehow, she battled her way out of the car before it sank to the bottom. She then managed to swim over to a piling of rocks where she was finally rescued.
Meanwhile, thus far, the big rig driver is charged with failure to control speed to avoid a collision, unsafe lane change, negligent driving and speed greater than reasonable or prudent on a highway. The chief on the scene confessed he was fed up with distracted drivers and tailgating. So don’t blame everything on those ubiquitous cell phones. The very fact that this driver was not on a cell phone will be a big advantage as he goes to court with his experienced defense attorney.
Source: CBS Baltimore, “Bay Bridge Crash Report: Truck Driver Was Distracted & Driving Too Fast” Alex DeMetrick, Aug. 29, 2013