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Broken down truck triggers multiple crashes, five people died

A one-mile stretch of road saw two truck accidents and five fatalities on an early morning last week. The crashes occurred after a third truck broke down in the roadway, causing a traffic jam. In one of the truck accidents, an 18-wheeler slammed into two cars, killing a family of four.

The first truck initially broke down in one of the westbound lanes on an interstate in Nebraska. One trucker died at the scene when his vehicle crashed into the disabled truck. Traffic began to back up on the westbound lanes as law enforcement officers responded to the first accident.

The second wreck occurred a short time later. A Maryland man and his wife were in separate cars at the time. The man drove a Mustang and the pregnant woman rode with their two sons in a Camry. As they waited in traffic around 4:00 a.m., a third truck slammed into them from behind. The impact rammed the husband's car into the wife's, pushing her Camry underneath a fourth truck. The whole family died at the scene.

It is not clear why the trucker crashed into the two cars instead of braking to accommodate the traffic jam. The late hour suggests that driver fatigue may have played a role but the driver also admitted that he had turned his CB device off. Had the device been on, the driver likely would have received a warning about the other accident.

Although authorities have not said whether driver inattention played a role, the consequences of this wreck are devastating.

Source: Landline Magazine, "Multiple Nebraska wrecks on I-80 involving four trucks leave five dead," Charlie Morasch, Sept. 12, 2012

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