Some erratic snowfalls have caused several car accidents in and around Kentucky in the last few weeks. But while there may have been a few flurries in the air, two recent multi-car crashes on I-65 near Elizabethtown do not appear to have been caused by weather.
According to Kentucky State Police, on Saturday, March 2, 2013, a commercial truck driver was driving too close behind a passenger vehicle and the truck crashed into the back of vehicle, causing it to catch fire. Six of eight family members in the SUV tragically died in the fire. The two survivors were foster children of two of the adults killed, and they were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The accident occurred on the northbound side of I-65.
About 15 minutes after the northbound truck accident, another accident occurred in the same place in the southbound lanes. Another semi crashed into the back of one car, and hit another car that in turn hit a third car, resulting in a four-vehicle accident. The driver of the first car hit was the drummer of country singer Kellie Pickler. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment of extensive injuries. Two of the other drivers were also injured.
If the weather was not to blame, what caused these three very similar accidents? Officials do not know for sure, but they have a couple theories. Kentucky State Police think distracted driving could have played a part in the first accident. The truck driver that hit the SUV may have been on his phone or paying attention to something else in his cab, and he didn't see the SUV in time to stop. It would be sadly ironic if the trucker was on his phone at the time of the crash, because this stretch of I-65 is where a truck hit a van and killed 11 people in 2010. That accident led to the National Transportation Safety Board's request to make talking on a cell phone or texting against the law for long-distance commercial drivers. Investigators are also checking the driver's log to see how long he had been driving and if he had taken the amount of break time required by law. A blood sample was taken as well.
The second accident on Saturday was very likely caused by drivers slowing down and looking at the accident instead of paying attention to the road. Sometimes traffic is just as bad going the other direction from the accident because people want to see what happened. This is another type of distracted driving, and it can be just as dangerous as the more publicized cell-phone version.
If you are injured in a car or truck accident, be sure to contact an experienced Kentucky personal injury attorney. Crashes involving commercial trucks can cause very serious damage and injuries, and these cases can become very complicated because the company may also be partially liable for your injuries. The Kentucky car accident attorneys at Miller & Falkner just want to remind everyone to please pay attention to the road and those around you when you are driving. Distractions are everywhere, and they can be deadly.
Police identify 6 killed in crash on I-65 near Elizabethtown; WLKY; March 3, 2013
Kelly Pickler's drummer, Gregg Lohman, seriously injured in Kentucky car crash; Newsday; Associated Press; March 4, 2013