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Aftermath of truck crash tragedy in Blythe

The biggest things rolling on Interstate 10 through Riverside County are the 18-wheelers. They are mammoth vehicles that are difficult to bring to a quick stop and hard to maneuver safely at highway speeds.

The evidence of the risks these big rigs pose was tragically made clear earlier this week when a tractor-trailer triggered a series of motor vehicle accidents near Blythe. The accidents included a bus rollover in which four passengers were killed and 22 people were hospitalized. 

The Daily Bulletin reports that the driver of the 18-wheeler has a history of safety violations, citations and convictions, including failures to get his vehicle inspected and failing to keep his log book current. The newspaper also noted that the registration on his big rig expired months ago.

A California Highway Patrol officer said it was shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday morning when the trucker was trying to pass vehicles that he lost control of his vehicle. The big rig jackknifed, sending a load of pipes tumbling across the interstate. The bus driver then veered to the right to try to avoid the pipes, sending the bus through a fence and 50 feet down an embankment before it rolled onto its side.

Two other vehicles crashed when they hit the pipes, but fortunately, those motorists were not hurt, CHP said.

The trucker and the bus driver were also uninjured in the crashes.

Families that lost loved ones and accident injury victims alike may well decide to pursue compensation in the aftermath of this tragedy. When they are emotionally and physically able, they should speak with an attorney experienced in these complex legal matters.

Source: DailyBulletin.com, "Big rig driver in Blythe crash has history of failing to get inspections, keeping current log book," May 22, 2014

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