A major collision between a tractor-trailer and several construction vehicles ignited a fire and closure of the Capital Beltway for hours, as well as response from roughly 100 local firefighters and first responders. According to officials from the Alexandria Fire Department, Prince George’s County Fire Department, and Maryland State Police, the wreck occurred on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge on Wednesday June 20, 2018 when a tractor trailer struck a boom truck and several construction vehicles.
As a result of the crash, the tractor-trailer and three other vehicles caught fire, sending plumes of thick black smoke into the air that could be seen for miles. Witnesses report that the scene looked as if a bomb has just gone off. One of the vehicles struck by the tractor-trailer was a boom truck which had its bucket extended under the bridge. Three workers on that vehicle became stranded as the fire raged, and were later rescued by emergency crews. The driver of the tractor-trailer was fatally injured in the wreck, one boom operator was taken to a local hospital for serious injuries, and at least seven other victims were treated at the scene.
Although investigations are still ongoing, officials have stated that the tractor-trailer lost control and struck the construction vehicles as it was traveling northbound along the bridge. The wreck also caused hours of terrible traffic that affected all lanes of traffic on Interstate 95, Interstate 295, and the Inner Loop, and which extended into the evening commute. Investigators are still looking into what may have caused the driver to lose control.
Serious motor vehicle accidents like this are unfortunately not uncommon in the DC Metro area. Due to heavy traffic, car accidents and truck accidents commonly involve multiple vehicles, and often result in considerable traffic congestion and backups that also increase the potential for follow-up accidents. This is especially true when motorists drive distracted or are otherwise negligent in being aware of their surroundings and the need to slow down or stop.
Our legal team at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. offers our support to any victims or families involved in this serious collision, as well as to any other motorists who may have been hurt in wrecks that happened during the hours of traffic congestion which followed. If you have questions about your rights and the personal injury claim process, contact us for a free and confidential consultation.