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The tragic death of a Kentucky firefighter – who was killed while extinguishing a vehicle fire – has drawn national attention to the issue of truck accidents.

A Glendale, Kentucky, volunteer firefighter was killed recently in an accident in Elizabethtown. The 25-year-old victim was with a team of firefighters from the Glendale Fire Department, putting out a vehicle fire alongside I-65 when their fire truck was struck by an 18-wheeler in the early morning hours of Aug. 6, 2014. The victim was outside the fire truck operating a pump when the collision occurred. He and another firefighter were struck by the semi before it slammed into their parked fire truck.

Adding to this already tragic accident is the fact that the other firefighter injured in the crash turned out to be the victim’s mother. No charges have yet been filed against the driver of the truck, and the accident is still under investigation by the Kentucky State Police.

All Too Common

Sadly, while the circumstances of this particular truck accident are unique, truck accidents themselves are all too common. At any given time there are tens of thousands of large commercial trucks traveling the roads of America, and thousands of them are involved in crashes each year.

There are many different causes to truck accidents, and many of them could easily be prevented with due diligence and care on behalf of the truck driver and the company he or she works for as well as responsible company practices that don’t pay bonuses for meeting unrealistic, possibly dangerous delivery goals. Common causes include:

  • Improper loading, which can cause cargo to shift in transit
  • Being overloaded, which can make the truck harder to control and could potentially damage road surfaces
  • Negligent maintenance of vital truck components like brakes, transmissions and tires
  • Drivers falling asleep behind the wheel because they haven’t taken enough time to adequately rest and recover
  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving too aggressively for weather or traffic conditions

Due to the size and weight disparity between them, when a fully loaded truck collides with a smaller passenger vehicle, the damage can be catastrophic, and the injuries severe. It is not uncommon for vehicle occupants, pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists to be seriously injured (with crush injuries, internal bleeding, broken bones, severe lacerations and head injuries, among others) or even killed.

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a truck accident, you do have legal rights. Speak with an experienced Kentucky truck accident attorney to learn more about those rights and legal options that may be at your disposal.

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