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It felt like déjà vu last week when a semi-truck crashed in the westbound lanes of I-696 in Southfield and shut down the highway. The crash happened around 6:30 p.m. on Monday, October 23, leaving debris on both sides of the median and causing diversions onto local roads that tangled up late rush-hour traffic in the area.
If this crash sounds familiar, there’s a reason. Less than two weeks earlier, on October 11, another semi jackknifed on the same stretch of interstate, only a few hundred yards farther west in Oak Park.
That crash happened in wet weather, and it took place around 6 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, leading to a miserable morning drive for many area commuters. Westbound traffic was reportedly backed up for at least two miles for two hours or more. There were no reported injuries in that crash.
The driver of the truck in the October 23 crash apparently lost control and crashed into the concrete barrier in the middle of the highway, causing the truck to land on its side. The driver was not seriously injured, but efforts to clear the crash and reopen the highway were complicated by the truck’s cargo, reported to have been an especially heavy load of automotive parts.
I-696 was closed in both directions well into the night while heavy equipment was called in, although at one point, a number of cars somehow got onto the eastbound lanes of the road and risked collision with a front-loader helping in the clearance operation.
Ironically, Michigan transportation officials already had a public meeting scheduled for the next day to explain plans to close a nearby section of 696 next spring for important road work, including concrete barrier replacement. According to that announcement, this section of road probably sees around 150,000 vehicles each day.
Truckers are, in general, safer drivers than the general population. Even so, they still get into accidents: In Michigan in 2016, there were more than 12,000 serious crashes involving a heavy truck, with nearly 2,200 leading to a serious injury and 116 ending with a fatality.
When a truck is involved in a crash, it’s usually the other vehicle and its occupants that come out the worst. Nearly 2,000 of last year’s injuries and eighty-seven of the fatalities were to those in passenger vehicles. No innocent motorists were injured in either of the recent I-696 incidents, but drivers can’t always count on that kind of good luck.
When you’ve been harmed in a crash caused by a truck, turn to the experienced Detroit truck accident attorneys at David Christensen Law. We’ve helped many clients receive the financial compensation they need to recover after a crash. Give us a call today at 248-213-4900 or fill out the contact form below to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and learn how we might help.