Ice was a factor in a 40-car pileup on the New Jersey Turnpike that left one person dead and more than a dozen others injured. NBC News (2.9.15) said that “officials called it a ‘freak’ accident that was caused in part by icing conditions on the highway.”
But crashes in icy conditions are unfortunately common. The weather on the night of the accident was reported to be a mix of rain and snow flurries and below-freezing temperatures.
Darryl Williams, 52, was killed in the pileup that occurred in Cranbury, NJ after getting trapped in his Toyota Corolla. The crash involved four tractor-trailers, two box trucks, a bus and dozens of other vehicles. According to NBC News, a spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority said there were apparently two separate collisions in the same place and there is a possibility that they were related.
Citing the state police, NBC said that two tractor-trailers were traveling on the road when cars crashed in front of them. Both truck drivers attempted to slow down to avoid the accidents but lost control and ended up blocking the roadway. A number of other cars then hit the trucks and caused a chain-reaction crash. Thirteen vehicles were believed to be involved in the crash that killed Williams. The other 27 cars were involved in a separate accident at the same time.
Icy road conditions make winter driving extra dangerous. This chain-accident makes the point all too well.
New York State law requires drivers to drive safely according to the road conditions. If weather or other conditions make the road less safe, drivers must drive slower than the posted speed limit, as necessary. Trucks, especially, need to slow down. Because of their size and weight it takes them longer to slow down in any weather condition. If the driver is driving too fast or following too close, it is not a reasonable excuse to blame the icy roads. Drivers may be held accountable for an accident caused by their decision to travel at a speed “not reasonable” for the conditions.
An experienced lawyer can help ensure that a person injured a car accident injury caused by another person’s negligence receives all the benefits he or she is entitled to, fair compensation for any injuries or other damages.
The NBC News story cited is “1 Dead in NJ Turnpike Pileup Involving 40 Vehicles: State Police