Two Killed in Multiple Tractor Trailer Wreck
A horrific crash involving six tractor trailers and one car, claimed the lives of two people and shut down the highway for more than nine hours.
The crash was a pile up of the six tractor trailers and one car pulverized in between. The crash occurred on the southbound stretch of I-75 near mile marker 71 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky.. Kentucky State Police Vehicle Enforcement said the cause of the crash has not been determined, but it appears it happened when traffic slowed in a construction zone. The sea of tractor trailers, with miles and miles of cars, was only a small sign of the horror that was ahead.
Janet Montgomery was inside one of the six tractor trailers at the time of the crash. She recalled what happened stating, “Traffic was stopped, and it was just a chain reaction. Truck, after truck, after truck.” She continued, “Fire, it was smoke and fire. It was just, it was horrible.” Amongst the five tractor trailers that piled into each other, the last truck to crash was a FedEx semi, which burst into flames upon impact and killed the driver of the truck. The State police identified the driver as 41-year-old Toby Caudill of Glenford, Ohio.
Trapped in the middle of the tractor trailers was a car. The car was crushed between the tractor trailers in the chaos of the accident. An eyewitness George Keen, drove in the northbound lanes past the wreck. He said he, “Just glanced over and it looked like a car that had been through a compactor. I mean, it was just like a sardine can.” The Rockcastle County Deputy Coroner identified the man and said the driver of the car was, 34-year old, Jonathan D. Roark. Authorities report that Roark died on scene. State Police said Roark was a military man from the Barbourville area. Kentucky State Police reported that a third driver was also hurt in the wreck. However he was released from the hospital with minor injuries. The scene of the accident was a mangled site. The cleanup was extensive because of the charred mess, and large commercial vehicles involved. It took hours to clear the debris and for investigators to reconstruct the crash. Traffic was held up for about nine hours. Emergency crews and investigators reopened the area later than night, around 11:15 p.m.
These deaths are terrible tragedies. “It’s still a terrible shame that people lose their lives that way,” said Michael Gluhanich, who drove past the terrible scene. “Just say a prayer for them.” The crash appeared to happen in a construction zone when traffic was slowed. Tractor trailer crashes, such as these, should not result in fires. The FedEx semi that burst into flames may have been caused by a defect in the truck. These fires are sometimes caused by defects in the design of tractor fuel systems. The battery box location on certain tractors can provide an ignition source for diesel fuel that has a very high ignition point. Victims and their families should immediately retain legal counsel after such an event so that the tractor, and all evidence related to the accident can be preserved and analyzed, in order to determine if a defect contributed to the fire.