A tractor-trailer crashed in the westbound lane of Interstate 26 in the Polk County, North Carolina section of the highway on Friday morning hurting the driver with non-life threatening injuries. The eighteen-wheeler flipped and spilled its load causing traffic to pause for about 4 hours.
As indicated by authorities familiar with the accident, the tractor-trailer crashed at the 62 mile marker and blocked both lanes of traffic on the interstate. According to Channel 7 News, emergency responders there was entrapment involved with the accident and a medical helicopter was being sent to the scene.
North Carolina Highway Patrol reported that the driver was heading up the grade when he ran off the road, and then over corrected. The tractor-trailer’s load was full with ocean-going containers. These containers were not properly secured, causing them to shift which made the trailer part of the big-rig to flip over onto the interstate.
The wreckage caused over 380 feet of guardrail to be destroyed. The truck driver had non-life threatening injuries. As mentioned an entire lane of the interstate was closed for 4 hours, and all lanes were closed for awhile while they extracted the driver who was trapped in the cab, he was later flown to Spartanburg Regional.
An 18-wheeler truck traveling at 70 miles per hour has twice as much energy as one at 50 mph. In addition, automobiles are designed under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to encounter like size vehicles, not 80,000 pound trucks. Added hazards include the absence of rear and side bumpers and high front bumpers that punch into automobile passenger compartments. Together these factors account for the high percentage of serious injuries and deaths in these crashes.
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