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Tragedy on 75: Semi-Tractor Trailer Causes Fatal Crash

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Posted on January 8, 2019

Yesterday afternoon was sunny and bright, around 70 degrees with a slight southerly breeze in Alachua County, Florida. A passenger van of the Pentecostal church in Marksville, Louisiana drove South on I-75 carrying a load of eager youth on their way to Disney World in Orlando. At this point in their 11-hour journey from Marksville, the van was just under two hours from their destination and the kid’s excitement must have been close to boiling point. In an instant, the joy and anticipation of visiting the “happiest place on earth” would turn to absolute horror, pain, and death.

At approximately 3:40PM and heading in the opposite direction of the church van, a semi-tractor trailer plodded North. For unknown reasons, the tractor-trailer suddenly veered sharply left from the far right lane and struck an adjacent car. Both the trailer and the car careened out of control and tore through the guard rails continuing on and slamming head-on into southbound traffic. Colliding with the loaded church van and another semi-tractor trailer, the truck’s diesel fuel was leaked and quickly caught fire, erupting in what FHP described as a fireball. Upon impact, the church van was sent into a violent roll and ejected several passengers. Sickeningly, at least one ejected passenger was struck by vehicles behind the collision that could not stop in time. In all, 5 children in the van, aged 8 to 14, lost their lives. Both drivers of the semi-tractor trailers were also killed. Other passengers in the van and the driver, the wife of the church’s pastor, were severely injured in the crash.

In an instant, your life can be dramatically altered. The pain of loss that rips through a family at the death of a child is a pain no parent should ever have to endure. This tragedy highlights the absolute necessity for reviewing what went wrong in this accident, ensuring the victims receive the compensation they need to recover, and steps are taken to mitigate this event from reoccurring in the future.

Accidents involving semi-tractor trailers are handled differently than a typical car accident. Different sets of laws require attorney’s that specialize in this area. Farah & Farah employs a team of experienced trucking accident attorneys that have the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to navigate the long road to recovery for our injured clients. Our experts review the evidence of the case to determine who was really at fault. You might be surprised to learn it’s not always the driver’s fault. We’ve handled cases where the liability was in the hands of the trucking company or the truck’s manufacturer. It can even be improper maintenance where the maintenance company, too, shares liability for the accident. In the case of Thursday’s horrible crash on I-75, investigators are also looking at whether the highway’s guardrail withstood the full amount of force they are engineered to withstand.

Our team knows how to handle cases involving semi-tractor trailer crashes. We know the insurance and big trucking companies will unfairly try to use tactics such as delay, underpayment of your settlement, rush you to make a settlement, or may outright ignore you. Farah and Farah has the legal knowledge and financial stability to go toe-to-toe with these companies and force them to take responsibility. We’ll negotiate on your behalf and ensure you get the compensation you need to fully recover so you can focus on getting your life back to normal. If you’ve been involved in an accident, let our attorney’s review your case completely free of charge. Click here to learn more or contact your nearest branch – we have offices throughout Florida and Southeast Georgia to meet your needs.