After Crash, Clearwater Semi-Truck Catches Fire on U.S. 19

February 20, 2015 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
After Crash, Clearwater Semi-Truck Catches Fire on U.S. 19 A crash at U.S. 19 and Harn Boulevard early Wednesday morning left all lanes of traffic closed for many hours. Involving a semi-truck, the crash occurred when the driver mistakenly drove over the center median of the highway, causing the engine to catch fire. The driver was able to escape the wreckage with only minor injuries, but the mess left behind was far too hazardous to allow traffic to continue along the roadways. The stretch of highway where the accident took place was closed until further notice under the supervision of local authorities. Other emergency service members, notably firefighters, tended to the engine fire and cleaned up the debris. Since U.S. 19 was closed to both north and southbound motorists from Drew St. to Belleair Rd., traffic was redirected to nearby roads such as McMullen Booth and Keene for the duration of the clean-up. However, a series of additional accidents—likely attributable to the congestion built up after the initial crash—made the morning commute in Clearwater extremely hectic.  How did the crash happen?  Until more details are discovered and solid information is gathered, it's unknown exactly how the crash occurred. However, like many accidents involving a center median, there's usually some sort of negligence involved. Some examples of what could have happened are:
  • He was distracted moments before the crash. Inattentive, the truck driver failed to steer away from the median. Distracted driving is the leading cause of accidents these days. Even if you think you've got distracted driving “under control”, another driver could make a surprising and negligent maneuver that puts other drivers in danger. Being fully attentive will allow you to prepare for situations such as that, but an astounding number of drivers continue to drive distracted in ways such as:
    • Hastily consuming food on the way to work.
    • Applying makeup to prepare for your “big night”.
    • Using a mobile device for texting, browsing the web or social media sites, checking email, etc.
  • He was negligent in his own driving habits, making a poor decision that led to an inevitable accident. Also, keeping a heavy, dangerous-by-nature vehicle like a tractor trailer in good condition is absolutely necessary for safety. This can be anything ranging from:
    • Failing to repair knowingly faulty vehicle components; (i.e. the brakes—unable to stop in time.)
    • Speeding; coincides with faulty brakes.
    • Not wearing vision aid when needed; can't see the impending crash.
  • The negligence of another driver forced him off of the road. An experienced truck driver knows how much damage his truck would do to a normal sized car. In an effort to avoid a fatal crash, he swerved and ended up in the median, therefore minimizing personal injuries to any and all parties involved. Negligence displayed by other parties includes:
    • Suddenly switching lanes without an indicator.
    • Staying in the blind-spot of another vehicle.
  • Other reasons. This could be anything from a health condition to an unknown fault in the vehicle; even a road defect. Sometimes, it's not easy to determine another party's negligence after a crash, therefore making an otherwise innocent party seem like the only one to blame. However, there are many factors that can be considered such as:
    • Was the road in good condition? With the ongoing construction that has taken place on U.S. 19 for as long as I can remember, the answer to the question may play an important role. Road conditions are often times the culprit of many motor vehicle accidents.
    • Was the driver under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or another substance? Knowing this is crucial, as it would better help determine who was at fault. Drugs and alcohol can reduce reaction time and severely hinder driving capabilities.
    • Did the driver suffer from some form of health condition? Because he was able to leave the accident scene relatively unharmed, it's unlikely that this is the case for Wednesday's crash. Accidents can, however, occur when a driver is overwhelmed with physical and/or mental pain or anguish.
For more information on motor vehicle accidents, personal injuries, and the legal aspects of those areas, visit our website. For a free consultation and case evaluation regarding the likes, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today by calling 727-451-6900. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 727-451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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