A head-on collision involving a semi-truck in Merced County left a woman badly hurt Tuesday afternoon. The California Highway Patrol said the accident took place around 2:20 p.m. south of Merced along Highway 59 on June 8, 2021.
The Merced Sun-Star talked with CHP Officer Eric Zuniga about the circumstances surrounding the frightening collision. Zuniga says a Freightliner big-rig was traveling north on the highway near the Sandy Mush Road interchange. For an unknown reason, the truck driver crossed the center line to collide head-on with a Toyota Camry.
The driver of the Camry, a 38-year-old woman of Fresno, was extricated and rescued from her car by fire personnel. She was flown to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto with major injuries. Her condition has not been released.
The truck driver, a 54-year-old man from Fresno, reported pain but was not taken to the hospital. CHP investigators are determining what caused the man to veer into the opposite lane. They don’t believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.
Merced County Truck Accident Dangers
Large trucks and tractor-trailers crisscross Merced County day and night often carrying extremely heavy loads at elevated speeds. They often put other motorists at an increased risk of dangerous accidents.
Truck drivers work long hours and can become tired and lose focus on the road. When they make mistakes, the size and shape of their big rigs can put multiple vehicles around them in line for devastating accidents.
Merced County often serves as a corridor for the transportation of agricultural goods and other payloads from local industries. This increased traffic from semis and tractor-trailers has heartbreaking consequences for local drivers each year.
The California Transporation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) examined accident numbers from 2020 and documented 113 collisions involving large trucks across Merced County. Those accidents resulted in injuries for 154 people and also tragically claimed 10 lives. Nearly 75% of those truck crashes took place on Merced County highways.
Sadly, many of these scary accidents could be avoided with a more focused effort to make sure all trucking companies and their drivers are following safety regulations. A renewed commitment to truck transport safety will serve to better protect the lives of truck drivers and the motorists who share the roads with them.
Seeking Assitance After A Truck Accident in Merced County
Accidents involving large trucks can be devastating for victims. Those injured could face thousands of dollars in emergency services fees and hospital bills all while losing valuable time away from their jobs.
Victims and their families are allowed to seek support from an at-fault driver’s insurance company. In the case of a trucking accident, victims may find themselves confused over what insurance company they should be filing a claim with. A truck driver may be working for themselves. They could be on the road for a local farm or company. They could also be driving for a giant nationwide corporation.
Several parties may share liability in a trucking accident. Each person or company may have their own insurance coverage with unique barriers set in place to keep victims from getting the compensation they need to recover.
It is vital that victims talk to a legal professional to find out exactly what’s available to try to get back on their feet. If you or a family member is ever the victim of an accident, be sure to speak to an attorney in your area. You can visit our page about truck accidents in and around Merced, Fresno, and Modesto for more information.