By: Allan M. Siegel
On Wednesday morning, a major tractor-trailer accident on the Capital Beltway
in Virginia created an large mess and massive traffic delays. If you take
this route as part of your commute, it is likely you know how severe the
backup was. These delays were caused in part by the extensive damage that
resulted from the crash, as well as the sizable efforts required by workers
to clean up the debris and clear the roadway.
Here’s what is known about Wednesday’s tractor-trailer beltway crash:
- According to Virginia State Police, the crash occurred shortly after 6:00
am on the Outer Loop of Interstate 495 Eastbound near the Van Dorn Street exit.
- The tractor-trailer, which is believed to have been hauling two trailers,
collided with a passenger vehicle on the Outer Loop and split in half.
- As a result of the crash, the tractor trailer flipped over and spilled
cargo and debris, some of which also spilled onto the Inner Loop.
- Because of the amount of debris, lanes were shut down and an extensive
cleanup effort took place. It took crews of workers several hours to remove
the wreckage and clean up debris and fuel spill before most lanes opened
after 10:00 am.
- Officials state that the cause of the accident is still not known and is
currently under investigation.
It is fortunate that no victims were killed in the crash. As we discussed in a
recent blog that touched on truck accident statistics, crashes involving commercial
vehicles commonly result in injuries and deaths. Although no deaths were
reported in connection to Wednesday’s crash, it is still possible
that the crash and the delays contributed to other collisions.
Car accidents frequently occur in dense traffic, such as that created by
the crash, because the flow of traffic is disrupted and because there
is a constant stop-and-go. Serious incidents like this can also cause
chain reactions where multiple accidents take place after the initial
collision. Accidents in congested traffic often involve rear-end collisions
and crashes involving distracted drivers who falsely believe it is ok
to use cell phones or other distractions when traffic is slowed.
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., we hope that officials
are able to determine the underlying cause of Wednesday’s crash
so as to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future - accidents
that may be more tragic than this one. As always, we make ourselves available
to anyone throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. who would
like to learn more about their rights after a crash and how they may be
able to recover compensation for their losses. If you have questions,
contact our firm today.