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Vehicle Crash During Snow Squall on PA I-78 Claims 3 Lives


Pennsylvania truck accident lawyer encourages trucking companies to better train drivers for winter weather conditions.

Blinding conditions from a snow squall that came on suddenly was said to be a factor in a 64-vehicle pile up on I-78 this past weekend. The Reading Eagle newspaper reported that the fatal crash claimed the lives of Kenneth J. Lesko, 50, of New York; Francisca V. Pear, 54, of New Jersey; and Alfred D. Kinnick, 57, of Tennessee. The main crashes involved passenger vehicles and a dozen commercial vehicles. Pennsylvania state troopers reported to news sources that Lesko and Pear were in pickup trucks and Kinnick was in a commercial vehicle.

Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers warns of the dangers of truck crashes in winter weather conditions

Fatal crashes like the one on I-78 that occurred during a brief, blinding snow this weekend often occur as the result of truck drivers and other drivers failing to adjust their speed to adverse weather conditions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency that governs truck and tractor-trailer drivers, requires them to drive with “extreme caution” in rain, snow, ice and fog. Truck drivers must constantly be aware of weather forecasts and winter weather warnings and well trained to match their speed and driving patterns to the existing weather and road conditions.

Because driving large trucks is such a big responsibility when it comes to safety on our roads, commercial truck drivers are required to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), which involves a much higher level of knowledge, experience, skills and physical abilities than that required to drive a non-commercial vehicle. The CDL manual dictates that truck drivers reduce their speed in snow, ice, rain and fog conditions for their safety and the safety of others on the road. This is especially important when there is ice or snow on the road, because it increases even more the already long distance it takes for large trucks to come to a complete stop when traveling at high rates of speed. It is even suggested that trucks pull safely off the road until conditions improve for their safety and the safety of others.

Because many weather-related truck crashes and tractor-trailer jackknife accidents could be prevented if truck drivers and tractor trailer drivers reduced their speeds and followed all safety precautions, it is imperative that trucking companies adequately train all of their drivers on safe driving in a variety of weather conditions, including ice and snow. There is a lack of training by some trucking companies that is contributing to tractor-trailer drivers not using the extreme caution needed during hazardous weather conditions. This lack of training can lead to crashes and pileups like the one that killed three and injured so many on I-78 in Pennsylvania this weekend.

73 injured people involved in the car truck wreck on I-78 were sent to 11 area hospitals for treatment, including Penn State Hershey Medical Center and WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital, Reading Hospital and Saint Joseph Medical Center in Berks County, Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill, Schuylkill Regional Medical Center in Pottstown and several hospitals in the Pinnacle Health network in the Harrisburg area.

Many different rescue teams, fire departments and ambulances from Lebanon, Berks and Lancaster counties responded to the 64-vehicle crash. This included four emergency helicopters, the American Red Cross, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Operations Center and the state police.

The truck accident attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli in Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania are highly experienced in representing the victims of large truck crashes and winter weather-related tractor-trailer accidents. Attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli are currently litigating a case in federal court involving a snow/ice related tractor-trailer crash. The Fellerman Ciarimboli team also won the largest tractor-trailer verdict in the state of Pennsylvania in 2011 with Gfroehrer v. Werner Enterprises, Inc. They have the experience and knowledge needed to successfully represent the victims of truck accidents and can get the results needed when fighting against trucking companies and insurance companies.

If you or a loved one were injured in a car or truck accident, call the accident lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli in Philadelphia or Wilkes-Barre today for a free consultation. Call 215-575-9237 to speak to a Philadelphia tractor-trailer accident lawyer or call 570-714-HURT for to speak to a tractor-trailer accident lawyer in our Wilkes-Barre office.

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