A trucking accident on route 95 in Virginia killed one man, closing the highway near the town of Lorton.
The Virginia State Police said that a tractor trailer which was going northbound struck another vehicle while traveling through a road work zone. The accident took place three fourths of a mile north of the exit for Lorton. According to reports, the accident took place around 2:15 am.
The crash was so violent as to rupture the fuel tank of the truck, spilling its fuel reserve. This in turn started a fire, which consumed the cab and led to the death of the driver. Police have so far declined to identify the driver of the truck.
Authorities said that the cargo being carried by the truck was produce. The vehicle that the semi crashed into was what is called a ‘cushion’ truck. It is used to screen and protect workers and equipment in highway work zones. Despite the protection of this vehicle, one worker in the area was injured in the crash, though it was apparently not serious.
The accident temporarily closed all the northbound lanes. It was four hours before the northbound HOV lane was opened to traffic. Road work crews had to clean up extensive debris before authorities reported that the road was entirely reopened as of 8:05 am the day of the accident.
This tragic accident is instructive because it illustrates two key elements of a semi trucking accident. The first is the power of these trucks’ impact in a wreck. The truck struck a cushion vehicle intended to minimize injury in case of such an accident, and yet a construction worker was still injured in the impact. The second element demonstrated is the danger of fire. These trucks carry extremely large fuel reserves. If an accident cracks the fuel tanks, either the primary tank or the two spare tanks on the sides of the cab, a fire is not uncommon, and a major cleanup is almost always necessary.