A 2-month-old injured in a multi-car pileup Monday on Interstate 75 in Seffner has been pronounced dead, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
This is the second reported death from the crash. A 46-year-old man was killed at the scene Monday.
The baby was in a vehicle with a parent and two siblings who all suffered minor injuries.
Troopers say the pile up happened at about 2:30 p.m. when traffic on I-75 south was slowed. The driver of a dump truck collided with two vehicles, overturned on another and then collided with five more cars, according to a release from FHP.
In total, six people including the dump truck driver suffered minor injuries.
Southbound lanes were closed until about 8:30 p.m. Monday.
FHP says the investigation is still under way, and charges are pending.
Dump trucks carry cargo that can weigh over 50 tons, and are incredibly dangerous to operate. Accidents caused by dump trucks are usually devastating, which is why we hear so much about them in the news.
Dump trucks are mainly used to haul various materials like concrete, gravel, and sand. A standard dump truck uses what is called a hydraulic lift to tilt its cargo carrier and dump the load. Some of these vehicles are equipped with a super standard hydraulic cylinder that can haul 26 tons or more.
Dump trucks are quite tall and when they are involved in a crash, the other vehicle is usually is pushed under the truck, which can lead to serious injuries and death for anyone in that vehicle. Dump truck drivers tend to walk away from these accidents unscathed unless the truck happens to flip on its side, travel down an embankment or the if the driver opted to forgo a seatbelt.
These massive trucks have bigger blind spots and some, like the semi-trailer dumper, are even more dangerous. These vehicles have a high gravity center on the dumper and a low weight on the truck’s trailer, so this creates an imbalance which can make the truck more prone to tip over.
After a dump truck pile up accident, a driver or trucking company can be held responsible for any negligent actions the driver commits while on the job. Such actions include:
- Inadequate dump truck training for drivers
- Not performing regular safety inspections
- Exceeding legal limit for dump truck weight with cargo
- Pressuring drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines for hauling cargo
- Providing trucks that do not meet safety inspection standards
- Failing to properly maintain the truck in safe and operable condition
Due to the fact that dump trucks are mechanically complicated, there are many ways an accident can occur. Multiple parties could actually be to blame, such as a manufacturer of faulty parts, among others.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a dump truck accident, you need to get legal help as soon as possible. Our Tampa Bay Truck Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can fight on your side to make sure your rights are protected. We will get to the scene right away to make sure that no evidence changes or disappears, make sure witness statements are collected, and most importantly, make sure no one tricks you into saying something you did not actually mean. These types of accident investigations can be quite expensive, and the trucking company does not have to release their records to you until after you file a civil lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death.
Keep in mind that the insurance company will do everything in its power to mitigate the cost of your settlement, or to even deny you payment outright. The insurance company may even send an adjuster to your home or hospital to make a settlement offer. Once you accept they will have you sign a release of liability. These early offers are usually a cheap means to get you to settle out of court and do not cover the full scope of your injuries or a loved one’s death. Once you sign a release, you forfeit your right to recover any additional damages from their insurance company or your own company, which is why it is so important to never sign anything until your lawyer has reviewed it and made sure you fully understand what this money means in regards to your pain and suffering and other damages.