• October 17, 2022

Two Killed in Fiery 18-Wheeler Accident on I-10 in Gadsden County, FL

Gadsden County, FL — October 14, 2022, a tractor-trailer's driver and passenger died in a fiery crash on Interstate 10 in Gadsden County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 11:40 p.m. on eastbound I-10 near mile marker 188. Preliminary investigation suggests an 18-wheeler was headed east on the road when it went out of control for unknown reasons. It veered from the outside to the inside lane, then ran off the north shoulder into the median where it hit several trees. After the crash the truck caught fire.

The truck's 37-year-old driver and its 28-year-old passenger were pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.

Two Killed in Fiery 18-Wheeler Accident on I-10 in Gadsden County, FL

Commentary on Gadsden County Truck Accident on I-10

A common (but mistaken) opinion I encounter is that solo wrecks must be the driver's fault. Texting, falling asleep, speeding, or other reckless behavior are often prematurely blamed as people look for a simple explanation for a tragic event.

It's true that operator errors must be considered by investigators, but plenty of things out of the driver's control could have played parts as well. Poor road conditions, a vehicle malfunction or defect, or a blown tire could have sent the truck off-course, for example, and that's just a few of many possible issues that must be considered.

Beyond learning the precise cause of the crash, there's also the question of whether the truck should really have caught fire. People don't always realize that the exposure of a truck's "saddle" gas tanks mean they often rupture during a wreck and turn an already-serious situation into a fatal one. In many cases that could have been avoided with a few changes to big rigs' design and manufacture, yet the industry as a whole is very resistant to making those improvements.

Because this is a legal blog people sometimes think I'm just looking for "bad guys" to blame, but that's not the point. Two people died in this accident, and I think most would agree it's only right to find out exactly how and why that happened. Further investigation might find a simple explanation, but it could also reveal other details that mean someone should be held accountable. If so, they shouldn't escape consequences for their negligence.

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