Two Injured in Rear-End Crash with 18-Wheeler on I-84 in Vernon, CT
Vernon, CT — June 1, 2022, two people were injured when a car became partially wedged under an 18-wheleer on Interstate 84 in Vernon.
Authorities say the incident happened around 7:35 a.m. on eastbound I-84 near exit 64. Preliminary investigation suggests only that a passenger vehicle crashed into a tractor-trailer on the roadway and got stuck underneath the back of its trailer.
One adult from the car was extricated using the jaws of life and was then transported to an area hospital for treatment of serious injuries. The other injured person was evaluated and released at the scene.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Truck Accident on I-84 in Vernon
Some may feel this situation is pretty self-explanatory if the car ran into the back of the truck. Many folks believe rear-end collisions are simple matters where the rear driver is always to blame. That's not actually the case. The law also looks at the fuller context of accidents to learn whether their damage could reasonably have been avoided or lessened.
Among the important facts still to learn would probably be things like the vehicles' speeds, what the drivers were doing, if the big rig braked suddenly ahead of the car, if the road was wet or otherwise hazardous, what other nearby vehicles were doing, and many other details. Another one that often goes unnoticed is whether the 18-wheeler had an underride guard, also called a Mansfield bar.
The bar looks like a step to get inside the trailer but it's actually required safety equipment designed for rear-end collisions. When those crashes occur it's meant to keep vehicles from going underneath the trailer as the car seems to have done in Vernon.
Sometimes underride guards are much less useful if trucking companies haven't maintained them. Some firms ignore repairs and maintenance checks to save money, particularly on "non-essential" parts of the truck that don't keep it rolling. A frustrated truck driver once approached the firm with recordings of his supervisor telling drivers to spray-paint over rusted guards instead of replacing them since they "aren't important."
I'm not saying anything like that was involved in the above crash. Reports don't say the truck driver did anything wrong or that the truck was in bad shape, and I'm not suggesting that just because I want more information. My point is that many additional factors beyond "who hit whom" must be accounted for after a collision like this. People read about someone rear-ending a truck and think "case closed," but without looking at all the possible issues the investigation isn't really complete.