• June 06, 2017

Miguel Penado Killed in Accident near Othello, WA

Othello, WA -- A semi-truck crash near Othello, WA claimed the life of 58-year-old Miguel Penado Monday, June 5, 2017.

According to police reports, Mr. Penado was the occupant of a semi-truck headed north that attempted to exit the roadway. In doing so, the semi-truck lost its trailer. The semi-truck then struck a fence, and continued into a power pole.

The vehicle then stopped in a yard, where it burst into flames.

Mr. Penado was killed in the crash.

map of the area

Commentary

Was this accident survivable? I can't give a definitive answer to this, however, the fact the truck caught fire upon colliding with a tree sets off alarm bells.

Annually, a considerably large number of truck drivers are burned to death in truck accidents. Media reports often carry the implication that truck drivers are responsible for their own deaths in these types of accidents. They push this trope, then it's left behind with little to no scrutiny. This leaves the general public with the impression fatal truck accident fires are unavoidable.

There's a problem here. After successfully litigating hundreds of truck accidents, we've found a number of these fires are attributable to a potentially fatal design flaw.

Semi-truck manufacturers, in an effort to cut corners, began to build trucks in a way that leaves truck drivers to the mercy of shoddily-built, thoughtlessly-placed fuel tanks.

Fuel tanks--like those found on semi-trucks--are constructed of metal, and without adequate barriers to protect them from being punctured. Further, tanks are placed in a "side-saddle" position--on the truck's frame rails--leaving them more susceptible to perforation by contact with foreign objects.

A few simple steps to improve fuel tank design might be the difference between a wreck that's survivable and one that ends in tragedy.

--Grossman Law Offices

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