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Fuel spill fuels chain-reaction collisions on I-676

Most accidents have a cause that is related to a driver doing something that was rather unwise. Changing lanes without signaling, driving while using a cell phone, eating or drinking or excessive speed can all cause accidents. However, sometimes an accident is actually just an accident that was no real fault of the driver. A recent truck accident on I-676 is an example that first, you can cause an accident without being directly involved and second, you don't actually have to do anything to cause an accident.

A tractor trailer carrying crane parts lost its bumper while traveling between Lancaster and Philadelphia. When the bumper fell off, it ruptured the truck's fuel tank, sending fuel spilling onto the roadway. Because it had been raining, the fuel mixed with the wet road and created a slick surface that caused several cars to collide. Ten vehicles were involved in the accident and three people were injured.

I-676 was closed for several hours while officials and crews worked to clear the debris from the accidents, as well as to clean the spilled fuel from the road. Law enforcement managed to catch up with the tractor trailer later.

Although the driver of the tractor trailer technically did nothing wrong and did not actively cause the accident, the fact that the truck he was driving lost its bumper and spilled the fuel that caused the accidents is enough to make the owner of the truck liable for damage caused to vehicles in the accidents. The owner could also be held accountable for medical bills and other expenses for those who were injured in the collisions. Just because an accident was "just an accident" is not enough to excuse a person or company from culpability.


Source: 
CBS Philly, "I-676 EB Reopens After 10-Vehicle Accident; 3 Injured" No author given, Oct. 07, 2013

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Gregory R. Gifford
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