Tractor Trailer Accidents Prompt Lawsuit, Charges and Investigations in Three States

Police are investigating a number of fatal tractor trailer accidents, one which killed a female truck driver in Maryland.Three separate tractor tractor accidents are being investigated, with one leading to a lawsuit and another being blamed for the death of a driver.

The Union Leader reports that Amtrak has filed a lawsuit against a Massachusetts truck company, claiming it was responsible for the crash of one of its trains in Maine last month.

According to the news agency, Amtrak has filed a federal suit against Triumvirate Environmental, accusing the trash hauling company of allowing one of its drivers, Peter Barnum, to drive an 18-wheeler even though it knew he was not qualified to operate the Kenworth big rig.

Barnum was killed in the July 11 crash after the truck he was driving went past a crossing gate and collided with a train heading from Boston to Portland. The lawsuit claims that the wreck caused more than $3 million in property damage and an undetermined amount of lost business.

In Maryland, an investigation continues into the death of a woman who police said was co-driving a tractor trailer on Interstate 70 near the Washington-Frederick county line.

The Waynesboro Record Herald reports that the accident occurred around 3:00 p.m. after the unidentified woman stepped out of the parked 18-wheeler along side of the roadway to make a adjustment to the front of the rig, which was then hit by a tow truck.

The news agency said that the the impact of the crash pushed the big rig into the woman and threw her over the guardrail. She was taken to Meritus Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Her co-driver was reportedly not injured in the incident.

In South Carolina, the 74-year-old driver of a tractor trailer has been charged with driving too fast after his semi tuck crashes into a bridge support on Interstate 85 near Blacksburg.

The Spartanburg Herald Journal reports that the driver, James Garner of North Carolina, was airlifted to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center after the accident. A passenger in the truck, 49-year-old Gregory Leon Moore, was also hurt in the collision. He was taken to Upstate Carolina Medical Center with unknown injuries.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation closed down the I-85 overpass at Tribal Road after the accident until it was determined that the roadway was safe.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 352 people died as the result of motor vehicle accidents involving a fixed object in South Carolina in 2009.