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Big Rig Head-On Crash Claims Two Lives in Central Valley

A semi-trailer and a BMW SUV hit head-on around 2:20 p.m., Monday, January 20, 2020, just south of Lemoore on Highway 41. According to the California Highway Patrol, the accident happened when the SUV crossed left the road and then overcorrected sending the vehicle into the oncoming lane of Highway 41 and into the path of a big rig hauling hot sauce.

The SUV caught fire and firefighters put out the flames but found that the driver and a passenger had died. The truck driver sustained minor injuries and wasn’t transported to the hospital.

Rural Driving and Big Rigs

Highway 41 is a vital trucking route taking goods, equipment and product to and from the Central Valley to the coast. This puts a high number of big rig trucks on the roads which can be dangerous to others on the roads.


Rural Driving and Big Rigs

According to a study by the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration, rural drivers only make up 30 percent of all drivers yet rural crashes account for well over half of all fatalities. One of the reasons is that there are more crashes involving commercial trucks, and those accidents tend to be more serious.

The Central Valley is lined with two-lane rural highways like Highway 152 which are ripe for large truck accidents like the one described above. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, rural driving is almost twice as dangerous that driving in urban areas. This is because of the many dangers that exist on rural highways.

One of these dangers is the risk of a head-on collision. Unfortunately, these crashes are more common on rural highways, and when a big rig truck is involved, it usually doesn’t go well for the passenger vehicle.

Head-On Collisions and Big Rigs

Another reason rural driving is so dangerous is the prospect of a head-on collision. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 13 percent of all rural crashes are head-on collisions whereas they only make up 7 percent of urban driving.

Other studies show that when a semi-truck is involved in a head-on collision, the risk of a fatality or serious injury for the occupants of the other vehicle goes up considerably.

Big Rig Collision Injuries

A fully loaded semi-truck weighs around 80,000 lbs and a passenger vehicle averages around 3,500 lbs. It’s this weight and size disparity that makes a head-on with a big rig so dangerous. First responders see certain types of injuries common to big rig head-on collision because of the violence of the impact.

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Head Injuries
  • Blunt Force Trauma
  • Broken legs/arms
  • Fractured/Displaced Ribs
  • Chest Compressions
  • Crush Injuries
  • Organ Damage
  • Internal Injuries/Bleeding
  • Airbag injuries

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer.

After an accident involving a serious injury in the Central Valley, contact attorney Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that every client should work directly with their lawyer, get honest advice and personalized attention to detail their case deserves.


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