Surge of 18-wheeler Accidents in Northwest Louisiana

As you know, most of my practice is devoted to representing trucking companies involved in accidents. Although most accidents happen in South Louisiana along Interstate 10 between Houston, Texas and Mississippi, there are still a number of accidents occurring in North Louisiana along the I-20 corridor on the northern part of the state and along I-49 which runs north-south on the west side of the state.
In the last few two weeks, the following incidents have occurred just in parishes of Caddo, Bossier and Webster parishes:
Accident A:
A woman is seriously injured following a wreck late Wednesday (December 14, 2011) night on I-220 in Bossier city, and the driver of the car police originally were told she was driving has been cited.
The crash happened at about 11 p.m. Wednesday night on I-220 at Benton Road involving a car and an 18-wheeler as they were both traveling westbound. An investigation indicates the car, a 2000 Ford Taurus, cut in front of the 18-wheeler and made contact with the rig’s front bumper. That caused the car to spin and strike the inside guardrail of the Benton Road overpass. A passenger in the Taurus, 27-year old Victoria Gillins of Shreveport, was ejected from the car and sustained what appeared to be life threatening injuries. Her 3-year year old son, Loyal Gillins, was also injured as was the driver, 29-year old Jim Ware of Shreveport.
All three occupants of the car were taken to LSU Hospital by Bossier City Fire Department personnel. None were wearing safety restraints.
The driver of the 18-wheeler was not injured. Ware initially told police that Victoria Gillins was driving the car at the time of the crash but later confessed that he was actually behind the wheel.
Accident B:
The eastbound on ramp to I-20 from I-220 is closed due to a single vehicle rollover crash involving an 18 wheeler with a full load of apples.
Eastbound traffic on I-220 is now being temporarily detoured onto Highway 80 to accommodate the wrecker crews while they work to upright and haul off the 18-wheeler.
According to Bossier City Public Information Officer Mark Natale, the driver lost control of his rig as he was traveling on the ramp resulting in his load shifting, causing the rig to rollover onto its side.
The driver was shaken up but not injured. A heavy duty wrecker has been dispatched to the scene to upright the rig and haul it away.
The load of apples did not spill as a result of the crash.
Accident C:
I-20 westbound in Webster Parish will be closed for the next few hours as crews clean up an accident involving an 18-wheeler.
The wreck happened about 7:00 a.m. Monday morning (December 11, 2011). Louisiana State Police say the truck driver somehow lost control of the semi, flipping it over onto its side. The truck spilled its load of rubber products, which crews are working to clean up. At the moment, I-20 at the Dixie Inn exit (exit 44) is closed. Drivers are being diverted at the Dixie Inn exit to Highway 80.
Accident D:
Two Halliburton 18 wheelers collided on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 in a chain-reaction semi truck accident in Bossier City, LA.
Accidents E and F:

Over the weekend of December 10, 2011, Two separate 18-wheeler accidents on Interstate 20 over the weekend claimed two lives. One of the victims was a four-month-old infant.

The crash on Sunday happened about three o’clock on Interstate 20 eastbound in Bossier Parish just past the I-220 exchange. That accident killed a female driver and sent her passenger to LSU Hospital with critical injuries. Sgt. Joseph Mondello with the Louisiana State Police said, “The tractor-trailer driver did not see the traffic stop and ran into the rear of a Ford Taurus and the driver was killed on the scene.”
“It’s a really tragic day here on I-20. it’s supposed to be a festive time of year, but this is anything but.” That was the response from Shreveport Police Spokeswoman Kacee Hargrave said about the first accident on Saturday. In that crash, a Lincoln had slowed down on the interstate in the westbound lane near the Hearne Avenue Exit because of construction. An 18-wheeler driven by Milton Dawkins hit the back of the Lincoln, killing the four-month-old baby boy and putting his mother, 26-year-old Claudia Salley to LSU. She remains in critical condition as of Sunday night.
How to Avoid Being Involved in an 18-wheeler accident:
Unfortunately, many people assume that big-rigs can maneuver as quickly and as easily as a passenger vehicle. That is simply not true and you must give the rigs room to maneuver.

1. Don’t swerve into the path of of 18-wheeler.
2. Sometimes rigs have to make wide right turns, which means they must veer to the left to turn right. If you see that, don’t speed up and try to pass on the right of the rig.
3. Use some common sense, such as wearing your seatbelt and avoiding the highways during bad weather.
4. Always leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the 18- wheeler as the braking response is much slower in this truck because of its size.
5. When passing an 18-wheeler, remember if you cannot see the mirrors on that truck, then the truck driver probably cannot see you either.
6. When you see an 18-wheeler on the highway, give it your immediate attention.
7. Drive the speed limit, but if you can’t be sure to warn the following vehicles with flashers and signs.
For the millions of miles that 18-wheelers are on the road, they are actually involved in significantly fewer accidents than passenger-to-passenger vehicles; however, because of the power of the 18-wheeler, they tend involve more fatal accidents.
Don’t call me if you are involved in an accident with big rig. I represent the trucker! Most of truck driver are solid citizens and careful drivers. They are diligent and careful.
They bring you everything that is within your reach. Whether it’s a coffee mug, camera, note pad or candy bar. None of these items would be available to you unless it was transported from the manufacturer to the seller. The next time you grip about truck drivers, remember what you wouldn’t have if they didn’t bring it and remember that most of them are safe and dependable drivers.
Often it’s the passenger vehicle that does something wrong. Then the truck driver gets blamed for it. Don’t get me wrong, drivers of big rigs aren’t always right, but they aren’t always wrong either.
Be safe!

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