On the morning of Sunday January 6th, a massive accident involving two semis and seven passengers caused severe delays on southbound Interstate 15 close to Primm, NV. Both north and south bound lanes were closed for over an hour due to truck accident, with all southbound lanes only reopening at 5:45 PM according to the Nevada Highway Patrol. The cause of the accident may have partly been a result of a vehicle pursuit of a suicidal passenger which had already stalled southbound traffic causing delays. One of the victims was transported by helicopter to UMC in Las Vegas in critical condition. Law officers are still investigating the scene to establish all the details.
Due to the slowdown in traffic it appears one of the semis failed to yield sparking the crash that created havoc and despair on the freeway. Additionally, twenty five to thirty gallons of diesel fuel were spilled on the scene; the exacerbated the incident due to the difficulty of safely cleaning up diesel fuel which is a laborious task. In fact, granulated absorbents are usually incorporated to cover diesel spills due to the flammable nature of high octane petroleum. This is often accompanied by using mats, booms or socks to absorb the spills and then rinsing the area thoroughly to abide by local laws and ordinances. This time consuming process only added to driver wait times, many of which were stuck for over ten hours in wait. To exacerbate the issue of local law enforcement, many driver’s tried to circumvent the incident by illegally turning around in exit lanes and were promptly cited by police.
Benson & Bingham previously commented on the state of safety devices currently available in semi trucks yet often unemployed due to a lack of legislation to to enforce: “The availability of technology to help avert accidents is alarmingly not present in the majority of big rigs on the road. A 2015 report by a Washington D.C. think tank named Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) found that only about 15% of all commercial fleets on the road are equipped with technologies available, including automatic emergency brakes (ABS) and forward collision warning (FCW).” As we enter 2019 it appears more then ever federal and state regulators need to address these safety mechanisms and ensure they are enforced on semis, some of which weigh up to 80,000 pounds on the road. As witnessed again by this massive crash, semi trucks have the ability to cause much greater harm then the typical four door sedan or utility vehicle.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a semi or truck accident, contact Benson & Bingham to discuss your case directly with an attorney. The team at Benson & Bingham has tried or settled thousands of motor vehicle and trucking accidents for clients in the past and understand how to maximize claims. The firm has three locations in Southern Nevada, Downtown, Summerlin and Henderson and are opening a fourth personal injury law office in Reno next month.