Imagine this: You are driving down Route 79 South near the Braga Bridge during the early morning hours and you see a trucking accident in Massachusetts. As that accident happens, a tractor-trailer bursts into flames right before your eyes. The truck is so close to your vehicle, you worry about the safety of yourself and the family members in your vehicle.
Sound like the beginning of a bad dream?
Unfortunately, this was a reality for a number of motorists during a recent early morning commute.
According to Wicked Local Hanson, the accident happened when a tractor-trailer slammed into the Jersey barrier at that exact location just after 6 a.m. The Massachusetts State Police say the truck swerved to the left, went up over a curb and drove along the guardrail before it slammed into a steel support. Upon collision, the wooden scaffold that was in the road construction area burst into flames. Officials believe that the fire may have caused structural damage to the steel support beams, too.
Our Boston car accident attorneys hear that the accident was so bad, the officer who was called to the scene had to park far from the accident just to avoid the intense heat. The driver was located, unconscious and draped over the barrier. The responding officer was able to save the truck driver and get him transported to the Charlton Memorial Hospital. The man was later taken to Rhode Island Hospital and was listed in serious condition.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), that area of the road is raised in two levels to accommodate heavy traffic. Officials think that the heat altered the efficiency of the road’s infrastructure. The northbound lanes, the ones on the upper level, sustained most of the damage from the fiery crash. The southbound lanes were reopened that evening, the Broadway and East Street ramps will be closed for up to a week.
Massachusetts State Police are still looking into the cause of the accident and have yet to file any charges against the truck driver.
Traveling through areas of construction in the state can be extremely dangerous. Lanes are altered, speeds are reduced and workers are present. In these areas, motorists need to be extra careful to avoid an accident with another vehicle, construction machinery and even roadside workers. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers drivers some safety tips to help everyone get through these areas safely.
Driver Safety Tips:
-Move over and slow down. The Move Over Law went into effect back in March of 2009. This law requires drivers to move over when approaching either maintenance vehicles with flashing lights or emergency vehicles. If you don’t, you could be fined $100.
-Be prepared in a work zone. Remember that speeds can be reduced, lanes can be changed and workers may be near the roadway. Be ready!
-Slow down. Remember that speed is one of the top causes of work zone accidents. Speeding in these zones can also result in double the fines if you’re busted.
-Never tailgate. Rear-end collisions are the most common accidents in these areas.
-Read road signs. These are warnings that can help to inform you about what you can expect.
-Be ready for delays. Call 511 from your cell phone to check traffic conditions before you reach the construction area.
-Leave an ample amount of space between your vehicle and road workers and maintenance equipment.
-If you see a hazard, report it by calling 511.
-Take an alternate route if possible.
Every year, there are nearly 1,000 fatal accidents in work zones in the U.S.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident in Boston or elsewhere in the surrounding areas, contact Massachusetts Injury Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman. Our firm offers free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.
Tractor trailer truck driven by Taunton man burst into flames on Route 79 south in Fall River, by Derek Vital, Wicked Local Hanson
More Blog Entries:
Elderly Drivers and One Simple Way to Reduce Their Risks of Car Accidents in Massachusetts, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, February 20, 2012