CLE ELUM, WA — A tractor-trailer is believed to have suffered a malfunction, sending the driver to the hospital in Cle Elum, Washington on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014, according to a news release from The Washington State Patrol.
Police have said that they believe 35-year-old Jose Macias was hurt when the tractor-trailer he drove cut across the center lines of traffic after hitting a bridge embankment while driving on Interstate 90. Macias reported that the tractor-trailer had a malfunction before the accident.
Scene of the Accident
Jose Macias was taken by paramedics to nearby Kittitas Valley Health Care where an update on his condition was not made available by hospital staff.
Officials from the Washington State Patrol are currently leading the investigation.
The news report points toward a mechanical malfunction being the cause of the accident, which is unfortunately a fairly common occurrence in the trucking industry if it turns out to be true. Big-rigs are very similar to average cars in their form and function, but really the similarities stop there. Due to the sheer size of tractor-trailers, they require more robust moving parts and systems to ensure road worthiness. The questions I have would center around which part malfunctioned, and who was responsible for the truck’s maintenance and repairs? Just as on regular cars, these parts wear down and break, sometimes unexpectedly. Further, these trucks are on the road far longer than your average commuter vehicle, compounding the stress on parts over time. In short, these trucks are bigger, more complex, and under more wear-and-tear than any other vehicle on the road. Trucking companies are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their trucks, and just as if you fail to repair your brakes and you cause an accident, you would be held responsible, and so should trucking companies for their trucks.
–Grossman Law Offices