Trucks and semis are vital components of commerce and the economy. They provide an invaluable option for countless businesses from coast to coast. The never-ending flow of goods does, however, have a dark side. When truck accidents occur, the sheer magnitude of their size and weight become fatal liabilities.
Statistics show that in traffic accidents involving cars and trucks, passengers in the car are four times more likely to suffer fatal injuries than operators of the big rigs. Weighing in upwards of 80,000 pounds and with twice the needed stopping distance of a car, trucks are dangerous to share the road with and Montana, especially, is notoriously known for its truck accidents. Here are the five worst truck accidents in Treasure State history from the Montana truck accident lawyers with The Advocates.
Fiery Collision Near Whitefish, Montana
One of the most tragic truck accidents in Montana history occurred when a school bus collided with a fuel tanker truck during a January snow storm in 1984. The local high school wrestling team was returning from a match on Saturday evening when the double tanker truck jackknifed across the highway right in front of them.
Nearby onlookers said a large fireball completely surrounded the bus as soon as the truck hit with flames quickly engulfing the interior. Although the driver of the truck survived, nine people in the school bus, including a coach, his wife and small child, sustained fatal injuries while another 19 people were injured as well. This is the worst truck accident in Montana State history.
Great Falls Collision Blamed on Foggy Wet Conditions
Fort Benton High School lost five students and their musical director who were en route to a music competition in March of 1957. The head on truck crash occurred at 7:30 am on a foggy, wet morning. While the driver of the truck escaped with only minor injuries, unfortunately none of the passengers in the car survived.
The front end of the truck was severely damaged but newsmen arriving on the scene reported the passenger car was utterly demolished. Too often, these roadway giants severely damage smaller vehicles, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
Five Truck Pile-up with a Fatal Twist
A flatbed truck hauling lumber lost control on eastbound I-90 in the early morning hours of December 19, 2018. The truck broadsided, spilling its load and completely blocking the eastbound lanes. Neither the driver nor passenger sustained injuries, however, moments later a second semi-truck veered left trying to avoid the crash and jumped the median landing across the westbound lanes. This driver exited the truck and, fearing being struck by westbound traffic, he jumped over the guard rail. Tragically, the semi truck driver did not realize it was over a 100’ drop and sustained fatal injuries in the fall.
At this point, a third semi-truck went into a broadside skid, partially ejecting the driver, who was left with serious injuries. Two more semi trucks soon followed and crashed right into the carnage, killing one of the truck drivers. The icy conditions also led to a first responder slipping and falling 40’ off the bridge deck, also sustaining serious injuries.
Passing Lane Error Leads to Head On with Oil Tanker
Just outside of Roundup, Montana on April 29, 1955, one of the most tragic truck accidents occurred on Highway 6 that evening.
In an ill-advised attempt to pass a second automobile, the driver in the first car of the truck accident leaned into oncoming traffic and collided head on with an oil tanker. The head on collision left three passengers with fatal injuries including the driver’s sister and two others. Both the driver of the second car and oil tanker truck escaped without injury.
Truck Spills Military Projectiles on Highway 212
One of the most recent tragic truck accidents in Montana closed over 60 miles of highway for more than 24 hours. On February 9th, of 2019, Highway 212 was shutdown for an entire day when a pileup of three semi trucks occurred. The truck accident happened between Hammond and Boyes when two semi-trucks collided head on, forcing a third truck to swerve and wreck into a ditch.
According to Montana sheriff officers, one of the trucks spilled military projectiles across the roadway. The truck spill forced a wide and lengthy closure of Highway 212. Nevertheless, crews worked fast and diligently to clear the scene. The military even had to detonate some of the ordinance. Miraculously, no injuries occurred in this potentially explosive situation.
The Advocates of Montana
Being in a truck accident can be incredibly traumatic for anyone involved. Worrying about insurance claims, lost wages and the headache of an ongoing legal case is a lot for one person to deal with alone. A truck accident attorney who specializes in truck and semi truck accidents will be able to help you navigate the ins and outs of building a strong truck accident claim.
We at the Advocates believe everyone deserves a dedicated and diligent truck accident lawyer to help guide you through the difficult process of obtaining just compensation after being in a truck accident. From handling insurance adjusters and compiling medical records to assisting in renting a car, your truck accident attorney will be there for you every step of the way. Call us today 24/7 at 406-272-6986 or take advantage of our live online chat on our homepage. You deserve an Advocate!