A multiple-vehicle collision on Highway 1 in California near Santa Cruz caused the road to be closed for more than five hours on Nov. 13. No one was killed in the accident, which involved 20 vehicles and left nine people injured. Two people who were critically injured in the crash are expected to recover, according to an officer with the California Highway Patrol. The same officer said the accident may have been set into motion by a brake failure on the large truck.
The truck was transporting clay out of San Jose. Its brakes failed as it came from Highway 17 to join traffic on Highway 1. At this point, the big rig collided with vehicles that were sitting at a stoplight. It hit 20 different motor vehicles before coming to a stop after about 1,000 feet.
The CHP officer said the big rig truck was probably traveling between 40 and 50 miles per hour and clipping other vehicles at first. The other vehicles involved were stuck and couldn't get out of the way. One of the drivers was pulled out of a burning vehicle by some Good Samaritans. All nine injured drivers are expected to recover.
One of the drivers heard the big rig coming and saw it in the rear view mirror, but couldn't do anything to get out of the way. He said the truck was running through cars and bouncing off of them.
In cases where people are injured in a truck accident, the trucking company, insurance companies and the truck driver might be liable to pay compensation. An attorney with experience in personal injury law might be able to help an injured person by gathering evidence and building a case for trial. An attorney could also negotiate a settlement on the victim's behalf.