A serious crash closed Interstate 40 for over an hour Monday evening when a westbound Lincoln Town Car crossed the median and went under the rear wheels of an eastbound tractor-trailer. The collision happened just east of the Radio Road bridge that crosses I-40 near Mile Marker 150. Emergency workers and the North Carolina Highway Patrol shut down all 4 lanes of Interstate 40 while they attempted to rescue the occupants of the car.
Trooper Marty Liles of the State Highway Patrol (SHP) investigated the crash and reported that the car, driven by Rashad Whitner, 32 of Hickory, originally went off of the right side of the westbound lanes, re-entered and crossed the westbound lanes, entered the median and went under the median cables, and then entered the eastbound lanes at which time the car went under the rear of the tractor-trailer and was run over by the trailer's rear axles.
Trooper Liles indicated that the driver and three (3) passengers in the car did suffer serious injuries in the wreck, but none of the injuries appeared to be life threatening. Multiple ambulances, fire trucks, first responders, and State Troopers responded to the accident scene. Looking at the destroyed car, one could only wonder how anyone could survive such a crash. It appeared that EMS workers had the first victim completely covered up when they loaded him into the ambulance. By-standers then suspected a fatality as the ambulance drove away from the scene without its emergency lights flashing.
Whitner told the Trooper that he lost control after falling asleep while driving back from Winston-Salem after visiting his father at Baptist Hospital. Trooper Liles gave Whitner a traffic citation for failing to maintain his lane of travel. While this was a terrible crash, the truck driver suffered no injuries and walked away from the wreck.
Legal Analysis: All of the passengers in Whitner's vehicle have the right to make an insurance claim against him for their personal injuries and other losses. In North Carolina, an injured person has the right to recover the cost of all of their medical bills, all lost wages, and compensation for the physical pain and mental suffering experienced as a result of their injuries. The big question for the passengers will be how much insurance coverage does Whitner have on his vehicle. The limit of liability insurance often becomes a big issue in cases involving multiple injured passengers. The owner of the truck also has the right to make a claim against Whitner's insurance company for the property damage (cost of repair) to the tractor-trailer. Both the car and the truck had to be towed from the accident scene.
Given the way that this wreck happened, it does not appear that the truck driver contributed to the cause of the crash.
At Davis Law Group, we help people who have been seriously injured in car and truck accidents. If you would like to discuss the facts of your case with an experienced car and tractor-trailer accident attorney, then you should contact Asheville Accident Attorney Brian Davis. Mr. Davis has been named one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The American Trial Lawyers Association, and he is listed as one of The Best Lawyers in America.