Tractor Trailer Accidents Cause Fatalities, Injuries in Pennsylvania and California

Tractor trailer accidents are being blamed for two deaths in Pennsylvania and California.Three separate tractor trailer accidents in one week are being blamed for two deaths and a number of injuries in Pennsylvania and California, respectively.

In Pennsylvania, the death of a 51-year-old woman has been ruled a suicide after officials said she drove her car into the oncoming path of a tractor trailer in South Anneville Township, according to the Lebanon Daily News.

The news agency reports that the unidentified woman, who had ties to Virginia and Berks counties , pulled out from a stop sign at the intersection of Church Road and Route 934 around 2:39 p.m. on August 22.

Officials told the new source that both vehicles then traveled off the west side of the highway just north of the intersection, and that the force of the impact caused the woman’s car to burst into flames. The woman was eventually identified through dental records during an autopsy. Her name has not been released.

The woman was reportedly the 16th person to die in a motor vehicle crash in Lebanon County this year.

Also in Pennsylvania, a big rig accident on August 29 forced the closure of Interstate 83 in Fairview Township.

According to WHPT-TV, the accident occurred around 9 a.m. when an 18-wheeler that was transporting trash to a recycling center in Manchester Township veered off the roadway and hit a guardrail near mile marker 38. Authorities said that the semi then rolled down an embankment and jackknifed.

The driver of the tractor trailer, 33-year-old Markice Stephens of New Jersey, was transported to Harrisburg Hospital with what were described as minor injuries.

Police told the news agency that Stephens will face charges for failing to drive in a single lane in connection with the accident.

In California, a multi-vehicle accident involving a tractor trailer in Napa that left one person dead remains under investigation.

According to the Vacaville Reporter, the accident occurred around 10:40 a.m. on August 29 when the driver of a 1997 Ford Escort suddenly crossed the center line on Highway 12 and into the path of a flat-bed tractor trailer that was hauling a large bulldozer.

The driver of the truck then reportedly lost control of the big rig, which then slid into two other vehicles, including a minivan, traveling on the westbound side of the roadway.

The unidentified driver of the Ford Escort was declared dead at the scene of the accident. Officials said his identity is being held pending the outcome of an investigation into the cause of the fatal collision near the Napa-Solano County line.

The driver of the minivan, 49-year Charley Cha, was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. Six passengers in the van and the driver of the second vehicle that was hit by the truck were also reportedly hurt in the crash. They were all taken to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Vallejo with what was called minor to moderate injuries.

The driver of the 18-wheeler, 41-year-old Vincent Zediker of Montague, was reportedly not injured in the crash. California fire officials told the news agency that Zediker was returning the bulldozer after it had been assigned to help crews battle a working fire in the area.

The roadway was shut down for close to 12 hours while workers cleared the wreckage.

Police said they are trying to determine if whether alcohol, drugs or a medical issue are to blame for the fatal accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 3,081 people died as the result of motor vehicle accident in California in 2009.