Any Ohio motorist who has traveled the state’s interstate highway system has followed or passed a large flatbed trailer carrying large coils of steel wire or sheet metal. State and federal highway safety rules require that the coils be firmly strapped to the trailer. An active imagination is not required to imagine what might happen if the last roll on the trailer were to begin rolling and fall onto the car immediately behind the trailer. In case anyone with a insufficiently active imagination has wondered what might happen, a tragic lesson in reality was provided by a tractor trailer hauling a load of coiled steel on Ohio Highway 127.
The accident occurred at about 6:20 a.m. according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. A tractor trailer owned by Total Package Express was traveling north on Highway 127 with a load of steel coils on a flatbed trailer when one of the coils came loose from its fastenings and fell off the truck. The coil struck a Ford Edge traveling south, instantly killing the driver. The cause of the mishap has not been determined, but the individuals involved in loading the trailer and fastening the load appear to be the most likely causes of the accident.
Several theories of liability are possible in this case. If one of the restraining straps broke, the person who was required to inspect the straps may be responsible. The same conclusion holds if the accident was the result of the failure of any of the clamps holding the strap. The person who fastened the roll may have been negligent in failing to tighten the strap or properly inspect the completed strapping of the load. The issue of liability will be further complicated if any of the persons listed above were employed by an entity other than the truck owner. Finally, if Total Package Express is legally deemed to be a common carrier, Total Package may be liable for the accident.
Anyone who has suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident may wish to pursue a claim for damages. Consulting an experienced personal injury attorney may be a crucial first step. A knowledgeable lawyer can evaluate the evidence, suggest legal arguments to support the claim, and provide an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.