Beaumont police and paramedics responded to a serious crash on I-10 early Thursday morning.
According to police, an 18-wheeler hit two vehicles including a passenger car and a pickup truck. Both of those vehicles burst into flames and the pickup truck ended up sideways in front of the big rig.
The passenger vehicle was smashed between the pickup and the truck. The Interstate 10 18-wheeler accident occurred at the Major Drive overpass near Beaumont.
Four people, occupants of the passenger car, died in the crash. A mother and three children from Georgia perished in the wreck.
There were reportedly three other people in the car who escaped with injuries. Several people were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The cause of the crash is under investigation. Police speculate that the accident may have been due to traffic that was backed up because of another fatal crash that happened further ahead on the road just two hours before.
In addition to the fire, the big rig had a hazardous material spill that had to be cleaned up. The lanes were closed for a time during investigation and clean-up.
Fires and Vehicle Crashes
Anytime a vehicle is involved in an accident, there is a risk of fire. That risk is due to the use of gasoline, a highly flammable substance.
During a crash, fuel is likely to leak from the vehicle, sometimes at a great rate of speed. This flammable liquid in conjunction with friction and other things that could cause a spark often cause fuel to combust.
The National Fire Protection Association, NFPA, records statistics annually of vehicle fires in the United States. The number of vehicle fires and associated deaths have gone down greatly since the records were first kept more than 35 years ago. This is likely due to the improved safety features in vehicles today.
Still, in 2015, the date of the most recent report, there were 174,000 reported vehicle fires across the country. There were 445 deaths and over 1,550 injuries as a result of these fires.
When a fire occurs, it can be difficult to get out of the vehicle in time, especially if the driver or passengers are trapped. First responders have a difficult time extricating people when the vehicle is on fire.
If you or a loved one were involved in a crash with an 18-wheeler, you may need to consult with an experienced attorney. First and foremost, you need to seek medical attention for your injuries. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses as well as other money for pain and suffering and lost wages.
The negligent party should be held accountable for all of the expenses and pain and suffering related to the accident.
In cases in which the victim was burned, recovery can be long and painful. Burn patients typically require surgery and ongoing care. Once the initial healing process is complete, the victim may also need skin grafts or other surgery to improve his or her appearance.
If you were hurt in a serious crash, contact our trucking accident legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm to discuss the details of your case.