A tractor-trailer rear-ended two cars on U.S. 27 in Weston, killing three people and injuring four others. The accident occurred in an area of U.S. 27 where troopers shut down a street-racing gathering about two weeks ago.
The Highway Patrol, relying on witnesses’ accounts, told the Miami Herald that an Acura Integra and a Honda Civic were stationary, next to each other and occupying two lanes of northbound U.S. 27, a desolate stretch of highway in the Everglades, when they were rear-ended by a tractor trailer. The Florida Highway Patrol was investigating whether illegal racing contributed to the incident, which occurred at about 12:15 a.m., about six miles north of Interstate 75, also known as Alligator Alley.
The Civic’s driver, Angel Lazo, 18, of Miami Springs, on Friday told WSVN-7 that he wasn’t racing, saying he was having car trouble. He told the station that he instructed the Integra’s driver, Raymon Garcia, 18, of Virginia Gardens, to follow behind him as he pulled over.
Anthony Perez, 19, of Miami, died from his injuries early Friday at North Broward Medical Center. Ileana E. Mira, 19, and Dairon Ledesma, 15, both of Hialeah, died instantly in the crash early Thursday. Mira and Ledesma were in the rear seats of the Acura Integra.
The Tractor Trailer was headed north on U.S. 27 when he saw two cars on the highway. He tried to stop, but could not, the Highway Patrol said.
Some accidents are unavoidable. However, many accidents can be prevented if the people involved take proper care. When it comes to commercial trucks, the lives of everyone on the highway depend upon the proper maintenance of trucks and the careful driving of interstate truckers. Negligence by a trucking company or bad judgment on the part of a trucker can result in tragedy for drivers sharing the road.
DID THE TRUCK DRIVER AND TRUCKING COMPANY FOLLOW REGULATIONS?
Semi-trucks, tractor trailers and other big rigs driving on the Interstate freeway system are bound by a different set of federal laws than cars. Trucking companies and truckers must follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which are intended to make trucking safer for all of us by addressing problems with drivers, trucks and cargo that could put us all at risk.
Because of these Interstate trucking regulations, when a truck accident occurs there are many things that need to be included in the accident investigation, including:
The condition of the truck:
Was the truck properly maintained?
Was it overloaded?
Was the load balanced and fastened securely?
Were all the parts running properly?
If the truck was carrying hazardous materials, were they properly contained?
The condition of the driver:
Was the driver fatigued? Had he (or she) been driving too many hours or too many miles? (We can examine the log book to look for violations of driving regulations).
Did the driver have any history of speeding, reckless driving, or other driving violations?
The trucking company:
Did the company have a history of hiring unqualified drivers?
Did it push drivers to violate laws that limit their driving time or slow them down?
Did it fail to properly maintain its fleet?
These are questions which will be addressed in the coming months as the Florida Highway Patrol concludes their investigation. However, many of these questions are not addressed by the FHP in their investigation, and do not come to light until a lawsuit seeking damages is filed.