The California Highway Patrol reported that a July 10 accident involving a large commercial truck and 10 other vehicles claimed the life of one person and injured seven others. The truck and car accident occurred on Highway 17 south of Los Gatos around 7:50 a.m. The crash left the northbound lanes of Highway 17 strewn with disabled vehicles and debris, and the roadway was closed for several hours as maintenance crews and first responders went about their work.
According to a CHP representative, the truck was approaching the Bear Creek Road exit of Highway 17 when it struck a group of slow moving vehicles. Eyewitnesses to the crash say that the truck rolled over everything in its path. Police said that the cause of the accident was not immediately apparent. No charges have been filed against the truck driver, and police say that alcohol or drug use does not appear to have played a part.
The man who lost his life was ejected from his vehicle by the force of the impact and dragged by the truck. One woman was said to be in critical condition after suffering a liver injury, but authorities say that she is likely to survive. The other road users hurt in the accident were transported by paramedics to nearby medical facilities with what were described as moderate to minor injuries.
While the investigation into the cause of this accident may be ongoing, collisions such as this are often caused by distracted or fatigued drivers. Federal law puts limits on the amount of time that commercial drivers can spend behind the wheel, but these regulations are not always adhered to. The families of those killed in motor vehicle accidents often face significant financial hardship in addition to emotional trauma, and a personal injury attorney may bring a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf when their loss was due to the negligent actions of others.
Source: Contra Costa Times, "One person dead, seven hurt after big rig crashes into 10 vehicles on Highway 17", Mark Gomez and Katie Nelson, July 10, 2014