Three emergency vehicles were hit by an oncoming tractor trailer while responding to an evening accident on I-75. The driver of the 18-wheeler claimed that he didn’t see the activity on the side of the road when his speeding big rig went barreling into the emergency responders causing the Powell truck accident. The 18-wheeler reportedly clipped the ambulance and the fire engine, before it slammed into the back of a second fire truck, according to Volunteer TV.
The emergency responders were aiding an accident involving a possible drunk driver at roughly 1:30 a.m. The alleged drunk driver and his 5-year-old passenger were transported to the U-T Medical Center.
Our Tennessee trucking accident attorneys constantly remind motorists of the dangers tractor-trailers pose to other motorists on the road. As they weigh much more than other vehicles, they are come with a lot more power. Accidents with these trucks prove more likely to be fatal and result in serious injury and damages.
“As they were doing their jobs, they noticed that this eighteen wheeler was coming at a high rate of speed. Actually one of our firefighters even said, ‘whoa, that guy is really moving.’ But there was literally no time before they started seeing trucks start getting moved over, towards them,” said Rural Metro Battalion Chief Jeff Devlin.
One fire truck was totaled. That department is currently being forced to use a back-up truck. The second truck belonged to the volunteer fire department. That was their only truck and it also was seriously damaged during the accident. Rural Metro will be sending them a back-up engine.
“Thousands and thousands of people every hour are driving all over the place. We understand that. Most people do it safely, most people are trying not to do this. However, any moment like this that causes one more person to think a little bit clearer, pay a little bit more attention, slow down just a little bit…we certainly appreciate it,” said Chief Devlin.
Tennessee Highway Patrol is still investigating both accidents.
Because of these types of incidents, Tennessee currently enforces a Move Over Law. This law is meant to protect emergency vehicle responders and other law enforcement officials while pulled on to the side of the road.
This law states that all motorists must allow the right of way to these listed vehicles and other government vehicles. Motorists are asked to pull over and/or slow when possible, when an emergency vehicle is stopped with activated lights. Motorists are also required to exit the lane closest to the responders when passing the scene. Tennessee implemented this law back in 2003. Violations of this law can slam motorists with a fine of up to $300 and/or 30 days behind bars.
Motorists are also asked to follow the same rules regarding construction areas. As the summer months move in, construction work will increase. These areas can be extremely dangerous for workers as well if motorists do not take caution while passing through.
According to Move Over, America, more than 150 law enforcement officers in the U.S. have been killed after being hit by other vehicles on America’s highways since 1999.
It is estimated that more than 70 percent of Americans have never heard of “Move Over” laws. More than 85 percent of supporters believe that these laws should be in effect in all 50 states. Again, 90 percent of motorists believe that these types of traffic stops and roadside emergencies are extremely dangerous for first responders and law enforcement officials.
If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a trucking accident in Tennessee, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Knoxville injury lawyers and Maryville accident attorneys. Call (877) 472-5657.