An accident has shut the highway down in Livingston Parish this morning. The collision occurred when a tanker truck traveling eastbound on I-12 near the Colyell/Satsuma exit rear-ended a Louisiana State Police vehicle parked on the left shoulder with its emergency lights on. The accident happened at around 4:30 a.m., and as a result, both eastbound lanes were closed at the Walker exit from 4:50 a.m.
The collision caused an explosion that shook one nearby witness’s home, sending flames 10 to 15 feet in the air. Initial reports indicated that the tanker was hauling hazmat, but officials are still assessing this. The fire was not put out until 6:30 a.m. Both the driver of the truck and the patrolman were sent to a local hospital with moderate injuries.
Conditions that contribute to large truck and car fires
It is estimated that 212,500 vehicle fires occurred in 2018, and collisions were the leading cause of the motor vehicle or truck fires that resulted in death. Large trucks have a much higher rate of deaths per 1,000 fires than other types of vehicle fires, and 79% of deaths from large truck fires were caused by collisions.
There is a significant correlation between the frequency of fires and high-speed impacts, as most of these kinds of accidents happen on highways or divided highways. A large number of fires in car fire deaths start near the fuel tank or the fuel line, and mechanical failures and malfunctions are also leading factors in vehicle fires.
Although large truck and bus fires begin most often from the ignition of a tire, large trucks also accounted for 14% of post-crash fires. The greater weight of a truck and much larger fuel tank create a greater impact force, making post-crash fires much more likely for large trucks.
The consequences of distracted driving
Driver fatigue, especially for truck drivers, can contribute to serious accidents. Even though truckers are generally more attentive than car drivers, if they become fatigued, distracted or otherwise impaired, a collision can end in catastrophic injury or death. If they are hauling hazardous or highly flammable material, these materials can cause severe secondary injuries or death in a post-collision fire or explosion.
It is important to seek an experienced personal injury attorney if you were injured or have lost a loved one in a car or truck accident that was due to another driver’s negligence. You have the right to pursue options that will give you and your family full compensation for losses that include hospital bills, convalescence, lost wages, funeral expenses or other related losses.