Last week, a driver died when he swerved to avoid hitting mattresses and box springs that had fallen out of a van, causing a road hazard.

When debris falls off a vehicle, causing a road hazard, the owner is legally responsible for accidents caused by the debris. If someone is killed, the family can seek justice with a wrongful death lawsuit.

A tanker truck, holding more than 8,500 gallons of gasoline, overturned and exploded on the New Jersey Turnpike on Wednesday, October 7, killing the truck driver and closing a section of the Turnpike for more than 12 hours. 1 The accident, which occurred around Exit 15W between I-280 and SR 3 near Kearny, happened around 3:15 p.m. The driver of the tanker truck was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, according to New Jersey State Highway Patrol.

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A nearby trucker captured the accident on a dash cam. 2 It shows that the tanker, which was traveling northbound on the Turnpike, swerved to avoid several mattresses and box springs that had just fallen off of a white cargo van. The truck driver’s evasive action caused the fuel in the tanker to shift and the tanker to flip over a guardrail. The entire rig was engulfed in flames within seconds. A third vehicle, a Honda Civic, was involved in the incident. Its driver escaped with minor injuries. According to “The New York Daily News,” the flames from the explosion could be seen as far away as Manhattan. 4

A passerby ran towards the rig in an attempt to rescue the driver, but the flames and heat were too intense and no rescue was possible.

The deceased driver is survived by his wife and two children, all of whom live in India.

The Newark Airport Fire Department and other area fire crews worked continuously over the night to extinguish the fire and clean up the spilled gasoline. 5 As of October 12, no charges have been filed in the case.

Sources:

  1. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/10/08/tanker-crash-new-jersey-turnpike/
  2. http://abc7ny.com/traffic/driver-identified-in-fiery-tanker-crash-on-nj-turnpike/1022819/
  3. http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2015/10/investigation_of_fatal_tanker_crash_on_turnpike_re.html
  4. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/fiery-anker-truck-crash-closes-nj-turnpike-kearny-article-1.2389156
  5. http://nj1015.com/watch-new-jersey-turnpike-reopens-after-mattress-box-spring-cause-fatal-crash/
Truck Accident Lawyer Inspection
Attorney Eric Hageman inspects a truck after an accident.