Here’s even more proof that you need to exercise extreme caution when you drive near any construction vehicles, if you want to avoid a Massachusetts car accident.
If you’ve ever been traveling behind a large trailer that is hauling heavy equipment and feared that the trailer might fall on top of your car, you’re right to be fearful. This past week a backhoe fell off a National Grid truck, crushing a woman to death, injuring three others, and invoking a Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuit alleging negligence.
Here are the reported facts: In 2011, National Grid had apparently replaced its fleet of heavy, 10-wheeled trucks with smaller, six-wheeled trucks. National Grid drivers soon complained that the smaller trucks didn’t have enough power to properly haul heavy equipment. They asserted that the smaller trucks were difficult to stop and control, especially when going down hills. Despite that, a foreman was instructed to test-drive one of the trucks – one towing a huge backhoe – on the day of the accident.
Fisher’s truck was traveling in Southborough, on Interstate 495 in August 2011, when he lost control of the truck. It forced the heavy 17,000-pound backhoe it was towing to break loose from its restraints. Yingzi “Sharon” Wang’s minivan was traveling behind the trailer, when the backhoe broke loose from the trailer. The errant backhoe forced Ms. Wang’s vehicle off the highway and down an embankment, landing on top of her vehicle. Ms. Wang suffered a broken back, and her two children were also seriously injured. Ms. Wang’s 70-year-old mother was crushed to death.
As a Norfolk County personal injury attorney, I view this incident as a Massachusetts motor vehicle accident that probably could have been prevented. When a tragedy like this happens, and a wrongful death suit is brought, the only thing the law can do is to provide a judicial remedy for the victim, and also for family members left behind. (Assuming, of course, that negligence can be established on the part of the defendant involved.)