As a St. Louis tractor-trailer accident attorney, I was very pleased to read about a trucking accident that could have ended much worse than it did. As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Feb. 5, Stacey Spies, 37, suffered a mild concussion and a major fright after a sheet of ice fell from a semi ahead of her on Interstate 70. Spies, of St. Peters, was traveling about 60 mph when the ice broke the windshield of her car and hit her in the side of the head. Luckily, she was able to stop without being involved in another accident, and suffered only minor injuries. No one else was injured, but another motorist stopped and helped her stay calm until help arrived. It wasn’t reported whether the truck driver stopped or even noticed the accident.
Spies said she felt “very, very lucky” that the accident was not worse. She was traveling east on Interstate 70 on the afternoon of Feb. 3, several lanes to the left of the semi truck. From there, she was able to see the sheet of ice come off the top of the truck and head through the windshield of her Chevy Cavalier. She said she grabbed the wheel and screamed, but came to a complete stop in her own lane, then called 911 to get help from the Missouri Highway Patrol. The Missouri Highway Patrol reminded all drivers to clear as much ice and snow as possible from their vehicles, because even a small piece of ice can weigh several pounds. A spokesperson for the AAA of Missouri said ice on the roofs of vehicles can also fall on the vehicle’s own windshield, blinding the driver.
I’m pleased that Spies and other passers-by on the interstate were not badly hurt. But as a southern Illinois semi truck accident lawyer, I’m disappointed that no mention was made here of the truck driver’s culpability in this accident. In many states, state laws specifically require drivers to clear snow and ice from their roofs, often in response to accidents worse than this. That’s not the case in Missouri and Illinois, but both states do make drivers responsible for maintaining their vehicles and ensuring they’re safe to drive. In addition to any citation or criminal charges, drivers and their auto insurance companies could face lawsuits from anyone they injure by failing to make sure their vehicles are free of ice before they get on the road.
If your family has been hurt by a truck driver’s negligence, you should call Carey, Danis & Lowe right away. That includes more conventional trucking accidents as well as accidents caused by ice or auto parts that fly from large trucks at highway speeds, endangering everyone around them. Our Missouri 18-wheeler accident attorneys prefer to take these cases as early as possible, because an early start can make a big difference in dealing with trucking companies and their insurance companies. Ordinary drivers don’t expect to have catastrophic truck accidents – but for trucking companies, they are part of the cost of doing business. To make sure your right to fair compensation is preserved, it’s essential to talk to an attorney before taking any money or agreeing to sign or record anything for the insurer.
Carey, Danis & Lowe offers free consultations to all potential clients, so you can speak to us without any further obligation or cost. To set up a meeting, call us toll-free at 1-877-678-3400 or send us an email today.