Kittery, ME — A woman from Rhode Island was killed when a tractor-trailer crashed through a guardrail and into the SUV she was driving on the Maine Turnpike in Kittery, Maine.
The woman was identified as Christine Anderson, and was pronounced dead at the scene by local authorities.
Police say the tractor-trailer that crashed into her was hauling a load of recycled paper products. Investigators aren’t sure exactly what caused the accident, but said they’re looking at all possibilities, including drugs and alcohol use, texting, or whether the driver had been out on the road too long and had fallen asleep at the wheel.
One investigator said it was even possible that the driver had suffered some sort of medical episode, although evidence suggested that wasn’t the case.
Police say that this is one of the most severe accidents they had seen in recent months.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, Daniel Dunlea, works for Reas Transportation of Billerica, Massachusetts. Officials haven’t said whether or not he suffered any injuries.
Scene of the Accident
It’s always a tragedy, seeing an accident like this. A tragedy because people are hurt, and a tragedy because we really expect more of people who drive for a living. Now look, I don’t have all the answers here. I don’t know what caused this accident, but police say they’re making sure to look at the driver’s logbook to make sure he hadn’t been out on the road too long before the accident happened. I know that that’s a big problem in the trucking industry. And it’s a bigger problem with bigger companies. The larger the company, the more business they’re doing, which means more deadlines they have to meet. The more business they do, the more money they make. The faster the drivers make deliveries, the more money they make. In the end this just turns things into a breeding ground for accidents, which is unfortunate because it ends up being other people who pay the price. When an 18-wheeler gets into a wreck with a Prius, who’s walking away from that accident?
It’s just a bad situation. And we’ve seen it happen time and time again in cases we’ve been involved with. And while it’s easy to be mad at the driver — and they certainly share in the responsibility — a big piece of the blame lies with the company and the culture of irresponsibility they can sometimes engender. At the end of the day, these companies are responsible for taking every precaution to make sure their drivers are as safe as possible on the road. We had a case once where a truck driver had been behind the wheel for more than fifteen hours. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound very safe to me.
— Grossman Law Offices