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Florida deputy's death underscores 18-wheeler dangers

As the state's population booms and national demand for its products increases, tractor-trailers that haul the goods needed to meet the demands of businesses and consumers are an increasingly frequent sight on Florida's highways. Big rigs are not necessarily inherently dangerous, but when something goes wrong and sends one of these commercial vehicles into traffic, the outcome is often an unhappy one. Truck accidents are becoming an all-to-frequent problem in Florida.

The danger of 18-wheeler accidents was tragically highlighted in Brevard County when a sheriff's deputy was killed by a big rig. The deputy was reporting to work in his marked patrol car. As he passed a tractor-trailer on Interstate 95, one of the front tires blew on the truck. The driver lost control and swerved into the lane occupied by the deputy's vehicle and hit the vehicle. The patrol car was crushed, and the deputy did not survive the injuries.

While this incident may have made the news because it involved a law enforcement officer, the truth is that anyone who had been in the same position as the deputy was at the time of the accident would likely have suffered the same fate. The Florida Highway Patrol indicated that the crash was likely an accident. Yet, it is easy to speculate that a blown tire could have been caused by faulty maintenance or the driver could have lost control due to fatigue - it was 5:15 a.m.

Because semi trucks are commercial vehicles, crashes involving these vehicles oftentimes involve more detailed investigations. Federal and state laws may come into play.

Source: WFLA.com, "FHP: Brevard County deputy killed in crash with semi-truck," Feb. 17, 2018

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