The Long Island Expressway was covered with mangled pieces of charred metal, tires and debris after a chain reaction of crashes occurred Wednesday afternoon. According to an Associated Press report, a tractor trailer crashed into several vehicles travelling on the eastbound lanes. The initial crash set off a series of accidents as passing motorists could not avoid the disabled truck and the other vehicles.
State police also report that a number of vehicles (including the semi-truck) caught fire, making the scene appear like many lives would be lost, as more than 20 cars were left across the highway as a result of the crash. Fortunately, that was not the case. No explosion occurred, and passing motorists were able to help the injured to safety.
While the pile up involved more than 30 vehicles, only one person died at the scene. Thirty-three other drivers were taken to local hospital to treat injuries. First responders who were interviewed were surprised that many more people did not lose their lives in the crash.
Investigators are still investigating the crash to determine how it occurred. The highway was reopened on Thursday morning.
The accident underscores the importance of (as well as a driver’s legal duty) to drive in a reasonable manner, and to avoid road hazards. Failing to adhere to this duty could result in tragic accidents. Further, a driver could be held liable for all injuries and property damage stemming from an accident caused by such a breach.
If you are involved in an accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and options.
Source: ABC News.com, All lanes reopen on NY road after auto crashes, December 20, 2012