Truck Driver Fell Asleep at the Wheel, Causing a Fiery Wreck in Portsmouth, Virginia (VA)
By Randy Appleton, Portsmouth Trucking Accident Injury Attorney
The driver of a tractor trailer has been charged with reckless driving after police said he fell asleep at the wheel and caused a fiery crash in Portsmouth, Virginia (VA), on Tuesday.
Sgt. Michelle Anaya of Virginia State Police told Wavy.com that the truck ran off the road and into the westbound lane on I-264 westbound between Victory Boulevard and Greenwood Drive around 2 am Tuesday morning before overturning and catching on fire.
Emergency crews rushed to the scene and closed all lanes east and westbound as they tackled the fire. The crash also caused a hazardous materials incident because the tractor trailer was carrying blood plasma, although none was spilled.
The driver escaped the inferno with minor injuries. Police said he was wearing a seat belt.
The driver was clearly lucky that I-264 was quiet in the early hours. We have reported on numerous cases where drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel and caused major accidents.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says about 100,000 police-reported crashes annually involve drowsiness or fatigue, according to Drivers.com. About 1,500 fatalities and 71,000 injuries each year stem from accidents caused by fatigue with an annual price tag of about $12.5 billion.
Tips to avoid falling asleep at the wheel include having sufficient sleep before you set out, arriving by midnight and taking regular breaks.
Sadly in all too many cases falling asleep while driving can have tragic consequences. Last year we reported on how a mother fell asleep at the wheel on U.S. Route 13 in Accomac, Virginia. She drifted across the road and flipped the car. Her seven-year-old child in the back seat sustained fatal injuries.
A study by the National Sleep Foundation found nearly 60 percent of drivers say they have felt sleepy while driving a car or a truck. If in doubt, stop at a gas station or restaurant and take a break.
About the Editors: Lawyers with the Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton law firm do only injury and accident law. We have experience handling car, truck, motorcycle, van and SUV accident cases, and our case results speak for themselves. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we often represent clients in Portsmouth, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and Suffolk. If we agree to take your case, we will come to you at home or even in the hospital, to make it easier for you. We are ready to talk to you by phone at (757) 460-7776. We provide free initial confidential injury case consultations. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Norfolk, Portsmouth & Hampton Injuryboard, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake & Suffolk Injuryboard, VA-NC Wrongful Death Lawyers, VA & NC Medical Surgery Malpractice Attorneys Blog and Virginia Trucking Accident/Injury Blog to provide important health, safety and legal information to the public.