Gasps of shock and expressions of empathy made their way across Kentucky a few days ago when news broke of the death of a four-year-old girl in a nine-vehicle interstate highway crash in Paducah. Police said the little girl’s mom and two other children were also injured in the violent rear-end collision in a road construction zone on Interstate 24.
Traffic had come to a stop in the work zone, but the trucker failed to notice in time to stop his tractor-trailer from crashing into the back of the Toyota Highlander driven by Michelle Wren, the girl’s mother. The impact of the commercial truck wreck caused the Toyota to overturn. The big rig then slammed into seven more vehicles before finally coming to a stop in the interstate’s median, police said.
In addition to the injuries in Wren’s vehicle, there were injuries to six other people in the chain-reaction series of collisions.
Truck crash causes
Why didn’t the trucker notice the work zone warning signs or the stopped traffic? No one yet knows, but we do know that common causes of similar commercial truck wrecks include the following:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Excess speed
- Poor truck driver training
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, two years ago, 842 people were killed in road work zone crashes and another 39,100 were injured in the wrecks.
Following the recent tragic Kentucky crash, law enforcement officials urged drivers to slow down near work zones and to pay attention to the signage and traffic rather than texts, social media sites and other distractions on their phones.