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2 die in accident involving 2 semi-trucks

A three-vehicle accident in Marion Township resulted in the deaths of two people on Nov. 22. Pennsylvania State Police say that the crash happened on Interstate 80 at mile marker 170 around 4:30 p.m.

Authorities reported that a Volvo was traveling behind a semi-truck and decelerated for traffic. However, a second semi-truck, which was trailing the Volvo, did not slow down and rear-ended the Volvo, sending it into the rear of the first semi-truck. Two occupants of the Volvo, a 59-year-old woman and a 64-year-old man, died in the crash, officials said. According to authorities, charges are pending in the case.

This truck accident was one of many that police reportedly responded to on I-80 after freezing rain fell across Centre County. In the Port Matilda area, some 20 vehicles were involved in accidents on Interstate 99 the same day because of icy roadways. Additionally, first responders helped with at least 1,600 collisions in Allegheny County, authorities reported.

Poor weather conditions are one cause of truck accidents. Other causes include driver fatigue, speeding and distracted driving. Truck drivers who do cause crashes that result in death could face civil litigation from the immediate family members of the accident victims.

The companies for which the truck drivers work may also face litigation in the wake of a fatal accident demonstrably caused by a trucker. For example, a company could be found negligent if it did not properly investigate the credentials of a driver or did not ensure that a driver was rested enough to operate a commercial vehicle. In cases of poor road conditions, a company might be investigated for maintenance issues if there was something wrong with a commercial vehicle that contributed to the crash. Bereaved family members who file wrongful death claims may do so with the help of personal injury attorneys.

Source: WTAJ, "Two Dead After I-80 Crash", November 23, 2014

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Gregory R. Gifford
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