A Maryland family is grieving the loss of a loved one. A couple of days ago, the 31-year-old mother was killed in a fiery commercial truck crash on an interstate highway in Georgia. The woman moved there with her two young children last year.

Law enforcement officials said the woman was driving a Volkswagen Passat and had been involved in a car accident on the highway. She stopped her vehicle, but a Freightliner truck carrying a load of fuel then slammed into the back of her car. The two vehicles were almost immediately enveloped in flames.

According to a news report, the impact of the violent collision sent the tanker truck spinning sideways and flipping multiple times.

Both the woman and the truck driver perished in the flames.

“It’s been hard on everybody,” the woman’s mother said.

The woman’s sister said video of the intense fire and thick black smoke was “devastating to see.” She said the “tremendous loss” has made her family “very sad.”

According to an Atlanta news report, the collision ruptured the truck’s load of 8,500-pounds of diesel and gasoline. Fuel poured from the truck across the highway and down into a nearby storm sewer where fires resulted in explosions.

Motorists and nearby businesses were evacuated, the news reported stated. Responding firefighters battled the enormous blazes for 10 hours.

The woman’s family is trying to come to grips with their loss, remembering “her smile, her personality, her love.”

Common factors in motor vehicle crashes

Officials have not said why the truck was unable to stop or slow before this horrific crash, but we know that in similar tragedies at least one of several factors was involved:

  • Distraction: a truck driver paying attention to in-dash or handheld electronics rather than traffic
  • Impairment: usually involving alcohol, though sometimes drugs or a combination of the two
  • Fatigue: far too often, truckers drive with too little sleep in order to quickly reach destinations
  • Speed: excess speed makes vehicles harder to stop and maneuver safely

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a tractor-trailer crash, contact a Towson attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.