When Virginia residents hear about accidents involving large commercial vehicles such as dump trucks and 18-wheelers, they don't often assume that the driver of one of these large vehicles was killed in the crash. In a truck accident between a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle, that could be true. However, when the accident is between two large commercial vehicles, the outcome may be different.
This was the case in a Virginia accident between a semi-truck and a coal truck on Christmas Eve. At first, it appeared as though the driver of a semi could have fallen asleep at the wheel, causing the tractor-trailer to collide with the coal truck. However, upon further information and investigation, the details of this crash seem to have changed.
The preliminary report indicates that a coal truck merged onto Interstate 64, and the semi collided with it. The impact caused fatal injuries to the semi driver. The driver of the other truck suffered injuries from which he is expected to recover. Virginia police are still investigating the crash, so no conclusions regarding the cause of the accident are currently available.
Depending on who is determined to be at fault in this truck accident, any related civil action could go one way or another. Both the surviving driver and the family of the deceased driver could be entitled to workers' compensation benefits, but third-party claims may be filed as well. If the coal truck driver is deemed at fault, the family of the semi-truck driver could file a wrongful death claim for their damages. If the opposite is true, the surviving driver could file a personal injury claim.
Source: wowktv.com, UPDATE: Name released in fatal crash on I-64; interstate reopens, Lisa Robbins, Dec. 24, 2013