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Jackknifed truck leads to four fatalities in I-10 bus accident

Debris on a highway can be a dangerous hazard for motorists. It seems that all-too-often, stories make the news regarding materials being transported down the highway that have been strewn across the roadway. In some cases, unsecured junk stuffed into the back of a pickup truck may be launched into the air when the pickup hits a bump in the road, endangering other motorists. Load shifts on the back of a flat-bed rig may release items into the traffic lanes.

Authorities say that a big rig jackknifed on Interstate 10 near Blythe, California, last week. The truck driver was not injured in the dangerous event. However, the incident unleashed steel pipes onto the interstate. A charter bus was on the road and the driver tried to avoid slamming into the steel pipes that had been scattered across the pavement. The bus went out of control with dozens of passengers aboard.

The charter bus ran off the shoulder and was sent into a roll before it came to a rest on its side roughly 50 feet from the interstate. Four people were killed and many others suffered personal injuries in the bus accident. A spokesperson for Caltrans says that six people were airlifted to hospitals after the bus accident.

In addition to the bus, a sport utility vehicle was swept into the chain-reaction crash. It is not clear from media accounts if anyone in the SUV was injured, although the vehicle was heavily damaged.

It may seem that fatal accidents on an interstate would involve the dangers associated with two or more vehicles colliding. As today’s story highlights, however, debris on the roadway can create hazards that may produce fatal injuries.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “4 killed, dozens injured in California bus crash on I-10 near Blythe,” Joseph Serna, May 21, 2014

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