Tragedy struck in Lakewood, CO on April 26 when an out-of-control 18-wheeler plowed into stopped traffic, killing several people and injuring many more. The 28-vehicle accident spawned raging fires and a plume of black, diesel-fed smoke. Video footage filmed from the dashcam of a nearby driver displays the horrible tragedy.
The white truck that allegedly caused the accident was hauling a flatbed full of lumber, which spilled across the roadway when the accident occurred.
Four men died in the accident: Doyle Harrison, 61, of Hudson; William Bailey, 67, of Arvada; Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 24, of Denver; and Stanley Politano, 69, of Arvada.
What Caused the I-70 Pileup?
Ty Countryman of the Lakewood Police Department revealed that the driver has been charged with multiple counts of vehicular homicide, and that drugs and alcohol took no part in the crash. At the time of this writing, it is unknown what caused the pileup, though speculation abounds.
According to the man accused of causing the accident, the brakes in his semi-truck failed as he was driving down I-70 at 85 miles per hour. He reportedly told police that he did not swerve off the highway because he did not want the truck to roll over.
Brake Failure as a Cause of Truck Accidents
Brake failure is one of the leading causes of truck accidents in the United States. Even with new, functional brakes, it is difficult to slow down trucks that can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. when fully loaded. The distance required to stop a truck in time to prevent a crash increases based on the weight and speed of a truck. When truck drivers are faced with the sudden need to slow down, there is often very little time to react. This can lead to devastating crashes.
Attorney Tom Metier Discusses the Accident
In our Ask the Lawyers interview above, Colorado truck accident attorney Tom Metier discusses the legal implications of truck accidents like this one. Tom is the President Elect of the of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys, a nationally-renowned advocacy group, and a fierce advocate for victims and families affected by truck accidents.