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One More Tractor-Trailer Related Fatality

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Bath County, KTYet another fatal semi-tractor trailer accident took place early one morning in May--on Interstate 64, adding to the growing number of fatalities that occur ever year on American roads.

The freeway, shrouded in a thick blanket of fog, had already been the scene of an accident earlier that morning. It had caused a back log of traffic going in both directions. The police believe that the fog and the road closures at the time may have been contributing factors to this latest tractor-trailer accident.

Big Rigs on the InterstateThe rig, traveling east on Interstate 64, rear-ended a Chevrolet Cavalier which was temporarily stopped because of the earlier fender bender. Investigators at the scene of the crash believe that the truck crested the hill and was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting the car. The tractor trailer, with one passenger inside, flipped onto its side and ended up crossing the median into the oncoming traffic. Apparently the tractor trailer narrowly missed colliding with an oncoming semi. The accident happened between exits 121 and 123 to Owingsville.

Tragically, the accident claimed the life of the driver of the Chevrolet Cavalier — 49-year old Kenneth R. McKenzie, a resident of Bath County.

Both the driver and the passenger of the tractor-trailer were injured and taken to St. Claire Regional Medical Center. Denzil Hurt, the 55-year old driver of the rig was released from hospital the same day. His female passenger remains unidentified. According to the investigators, all parties involved in the crash were wearing seatbelts.

Although the investigation is ongoing- the family of Mr. McKenzie will likely have a Kentucky Wrongful Death Claim against the driver and the Semi-Truck Company.
Semi Tractor Trailer Trucks are governed under Federal Regulations called the FMCSR or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. It is unclear at this time whether the Semi Truck was in violation of these Regulations.

What is clear, however, is that this latest accident contributes to the staggering annual statistics on tractor-trailer accidents in the United States. Large trucks can weigh more than 70,000 lbs. According to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), nearly 5,000 deaths occur every year as a result of tractor-trailer accidents. This means that nearly 12 percent of all traffic deaths in the United States are caused by big truck accidents. In fact, every 16 minutes, a person is killed or sustains injuries in accidents involving 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers or semi-trucks. And the majority of fatal truck accidents occur in rural areas (68 percent) during the daytime (66 percent) and on weekdays (78 percent).

Of that approximate 5,000 annual traffic-related fatalities, almost 3,700 are persons in cars and other passenger vehicles and roughly 700 are heavy truck drivers and passengers in truck cabs.

Many people who either lost loved ones or have been injured in tractor-trailer accidents seek legal help, as going up against the trucking companies to seek compensation, justice and closure is not an easy task. Cases can be lengthy and complicated, and the best course of action for many people is to seek the help of professionals who specialize in truck accidents.


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