Virginia residents may not consider the fact that a smaller vehicle could pose a danger to the driver of an 18-wheeler. News stories regarding crashes involving big rigs typically report that the truck driver walked away with no injuries. However, it is also possible for the truck driver to be the one injured or killed in an accident with a smaller vehicle.
For instance, the Virginia State Police recently responded to the scene of an accident involving a tanker truck and a passenger vehicle. The driver of the passenger vehicle lost control as she drove westbound on Interstate 66. As the vehicle spun, it slammed into the tanker truck, which was also heading west on the interstate.
The impact was enough to shove the truck off the right shoulder, which caused it to turn over. Fortunately, none of the nearly 8,000 gallons of fuel in the tanker spilled or ignited. Despite the fact that the 61-year-old truck driver was properly restrained, he suffered fatal injuries. Authorities pronounced the driver dead at the scene.
The 23-year-old woman driving the car reportedly did not suffer any injuries. So far, authorities have charged her with reckless driving. Since the investigation into this tragedy is still ongoing, additional charges could be filed if authorities believe they are warranted by the facts.
As would be the case in the death of any Virginia employee while on-the-job, the family of the tanker driver may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Obtaining benefits in connection with this accident will not bring their loved one back, but it can help with the financial burdens his premature death has placed on the family. Benefits for funeral and burial expenses, along with a compensation package for the loss of his wages, may be awarded to the family. Moreover, the family also has the separate right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the woman whom authorities believe was responsible for the tragedy.
Source: wusa9.com, "Crash on I-66 in Va. kills tanker truck driver", , May 16, 2014