Big Rig Accidents in Virginia and Kansas Claim the Lives of Two Drivers

Accidents involving tractor trailers claimed the lives of two people in Kansas and Virginia.Accidents involving tractor trailers are being blamed for the deaths of two people in Kansas and Virginia, respectively.

WIBW News reports that a man from Emporia, Virginia, was killed and a 4-year-old boy injured when the car they were riding in hit a van head-on in Lebo, Kansas, while attempting to pass a tractor trailer from behind.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 31-year-old Matthew Tucker was driving a Dodge Stratus southbound on Highway 75 on July 12 when he tried to pass the big rig but hit a Dodge Grand Caravan that was traveling northbound on the highway about five miles south of Interstate 35.

Tucker was taken to Coffee County Hospital where he reportedly was pronounced dead. Police said that a the driver of the van, 35-year-old Cherity Kerns, was hurt in the collision, as well as a 4-year-old boy who was riding in the passenger seat. A passenger in Tucker’s car was also injured.

An accident report showed that Tucker was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision.

In Virginia, the driver of a semi was killed when the tire of his 2000 Freightliner tractor blew out on Interstate 64 near Virginia Beach.

The Erie Times-News reports that 49-year-old Gary Charcalla of North East Township was driving home from a family trip to Virginia Beach when the blow out caused the truck to veer off the roadway. The big rig then reportedly struck a number of trees and jackknifed onto its right side.

Police told the news agency that the truck was towing a 2003 ALFA Camper Trailer at the time of the crash.

Charcalla’s 43-year-old wife, Brenda, was reportedly taken to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center in Richmond where she was listed in stable condition the day after the accident.

The Charcallas’ two sons, ages 14 and 18, and an 18-year-old family friend were also hurt in the wreck. They were all reportedly taken to VCU Medical Center with minor injuries.

Police said that no one in the truck was wearing a seatbelt at the time of accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 266 drivers in Kansas and 437 drivers in Virginia were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2009.