The California Highway Patrol recently closed down a portion of Route 60 in Los Angeles County while officers conducted an investigation and cleaned up a massive accident involving multiple passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers. As often happens on California's freeways, early morning traffic began slowing to a stop. Then, a tanker truck full of milk failed to reduce speed and started a chain-reaction truck accident that involved several vehicles.
After it rear-ended the first vehicle, the tanker truck ended up straddling the center divider. Gallons of milk spilled onto the westbound lanes of the highway, and the wreckage of all 12 vehicles involved in the crash littered the eastbound lanes. Emergency crews removed the tanker from the median to keep it from falling onto vehicles that were on the highway.
Meanwhile, other emergency personnel were dealing with two other big rigs involved in the accident and two passenger vehicles that were on fire. The California Highway Patrol later amended initial estimates regarding the number of injured parties. In total, 13 people suffered injuries and one person died.
Three of those 13 people are considered to be in critical condition. Considering the wreckage, it is surprising that only one person died. Tragically, the deceased person was a 5-year-old girl who was in the first vehicle hit by the milk tanker.
It is possible that the driver of the tanker truck could end up facing criminal charges in connection with this truck accident. Moreover, the family of the deceased girl and the moderately to seriously injured victims may file civil actions against the driver and his employer. Employers can be held liable for the actions of their employees under the legal concept of respondeat superior. Successfully litigated claims could result in awards for damages for the victims of this tragedy.
Source: therepublic.com, "Girl, 5, killed in fiery multivehicle crash that shut down Route 60 in South El Monte", Aug. 15, 2014