Iowa Truck and FedEx Vehicle Collision Ignites Fireball
A fiery crash between three semi-trucks on I-80 in the City of Joliet, Illinois, has taken the lives of two FedEx drivers. Fifty-year-old Sami S. Guzick of Joliet died at the horrific scene, reports 7 Eyewitness News Chicago, and 49-year-old Jugoslav Djordjevic died from his injuries later in the hospital.
The accident happened at mile marker 129 shortly before sunrise. A FedEx double-trailer driven by Djordjevic had a break down and was stationed on the side of the eastbound lanes on I-80. Another FedEx truck, driven by Guzick, pulled over to help, and that’s when a third vehicle—a tractor-trailer from Iowa-based West Side Transport—struck both FedEx trucks from behind. A large explosion and fireball erupted as soon as the trucks collided. Guzick was outside of her truck at the time and was killed instantly when she was struck by the third semi. Djordjevic had full-body burns from the explosion and resulting fireball, which ultimately resulted in his death.
Chicago resident Douglass Norfleet, the driver of the West Side truck, has now been charged with failure to reduce speed and improper lane usage in connection with the crash, reports area radio station WJOL.
Beau Loomis, who witnessed the crash, said it looked like a “bad dream.” One of the drivers was on fire at scene, and Loomis used a fire blanket from his own truck to cover him.
The investigative team at 7 Eyewitness News Chicago examined records from the US Department of Transportation for West Side Transport. They found the trucking company has been involved in 43 accidents over the last two years, with no fatalities but 14 injuries. Its most devastating recent crash was in Ohio last February, when seven people were hurt. News investigators concluded, however, that the number of accidents West Side had appeared to be in line with a company of its type and size. West Side has not yet released a statement about the accident, but FedEx sent out condolences to the families.
Speeding trucks on the rise
Speeding is common among commercial truck drivers, and its consequences can be deadly. These large vehicles need more time to brake properly, which makes speeding even more dangerous than it is for smaller passenger vehicles. According to Trucks.com, the government’s proposal to add speed limiters into larger trucks that would prevent them from going over a set limit, such as 68 mph, will save lives for these very same reasons. Many areas are actually raising speed limits to deal with traffic congestion and other problems, but studies have shown that when the speed limits go up, so do accidents and the rate at which commercial truckers speed.
An accident with a large truck can have serious consequences for those involved. However, a car accident lawyer Denver CO citizens trust can tell you that victims may be entitled to compensation for their losses and suffering related to the accident. If you have been hurt in an accident involving a truck, speak to a truck accident attorney about your case and find out more about your rights.
Thanks to our friends and contributors at the Law Office of Richard Banta, P.C. for their insight into truck accidents.