Firefighters put their lives on the line for us every day.
Fayetteville, AR -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/12/2020 --Hazards firefighters face are not limited to burning buildings. Even responding to something as simple as an auto accident can place our bravest public servants in harm's way.
Four Marion, Arkansas, firefighters learned this lesson the hard way on March 9, 2020.
Around 7 p.m., the Marion Fire Department responded to the scene of a car crash on I-55. While clearing the scene, a tractor-trailer collided with one of the fire trucks. The four firefighters were inside the truck at the time.
Fortunately, the firefighters were quickly taken to Region One Hospital.
They only sustained minor injuries. In a Facebook post, Marion Fire Chief Woody Wheeless said three firefighters were released from the hospital during the early morning hours of March 10. The fourth firefighter remained at the hospital for further testing. "God was with us for sure," Chief Wheeless said. He added the driver of the semi-truck also suffered minor injuries in the crash.
Fayetteville, Arkansas, truck accident attorney J. Timothy Smith noted that "stopping time" is a common cause of semi-truck and bus accidents on the highways.
"It takes a 40-ton truck significantly more time to come to a complete stop than a 2-ton passenger car. A semi-truck typically requires a stopping distance equal to that of two football fields. But that is only a minimum, not a maximum. The stopping distance increases if the truck is loaded with cargo or there are poor weather conditions."
Smith said while the Marion firefighters were lucky to escape with minor injuries, other truck accident victims are not so lucky.
"Thousands of people die each year in semi-truck and bus accidents. These deaths are often the result of the truck driver's negligence. Some drivers are simply in a hurry to get to their destination. Others are driving too many hours and suffering from fatigue. Whatever the cause, innocent victims often end up paying the price."
Indeed, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about 4,990 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2017.
This is the last year for which complete data is available. These crashes resulted in 5,005 deaths and approximately 170,000 injuries. Just in Arkansas, there were 53 "multiple-vehicle fatal crashes involving large trucks."