The scene of a deadly tractor trailer crash on a major St. Louis highway was a motorist’s nightmare. A tractor-trailer that didn’t slow down for a line of cars stopped in highway traffic mowed down everything – and everyone – unlucky to be trapped in the semi’s path. When the truck finally came to a stop, sixteen people had been injured and two were dead.
That was the scene in St. Louis on July 15. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that trucker Jeffrey R. Knight of Muscle Shoals, Ala. barreled into a line of cars caught in stop-and-go traffic on eastbound Highway 40 just west of Interstate 270. Left in the wake of the big rig were nine wrecked cars.
Traffic camera monitors broadcast the accident to employees at the Missouri Department of Transportation’s traffic command center, note reporters Greg Jonsson and Leah Thorsen in the article titled “He kept…hitting cars.” The cameras didn’t tape the accident, but that shouldn’t hinder the accident investigation.
“Nothum said authorities ‘have a very good idea of what took place before the crash and why it happened, but said it wouldn’t be prudent to disclose the likely cause until the investigation was finished. He said authorities would meet today with prosecutors to discuss possible charges.”
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large Truck Causation Study, inattention, distraction and failure to keep a careful lookout were to blame for 29 percent of fatal accidents involving trucks. Poor decision-making, such as driving too fast for the conditions, following too closely, performing an illegal driving maneuver, or aggressive driving accounted for 38 percent of the accidents.