Truck Driver Reaction may have Saved Lives in Arizona Bus Crash

The heroics of commercial truck drivers often go unreported, but it appears likely that the quick response of a big-rig operator prevented a bad accident near Phoenix from turning drastically worse.

A charter bus carrying 15 passengers collided head-on with a pickup truck on Interstate 10 in Casa Grande on Tuesday, Nov. 20, about 50 miles south of Phoenix. The driver of the pickup was killed and nine passengers aboard the bus suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

In the wake of the accident, an 18-wheeler plowed into the side of the bus, according to Arizona Department of Public Safety officials, but the truck driver apparently was able to ensure that damage from the secondary collision was minimal.

While the investigation into the cause of the crash continues, the incident underscores the importance of truck drivers being fully alert and in control of their rigs. It is why I am such a staunch supporter of trucking industry regulations that ensure truck drivers are qualified operators, and why I fight diligently to remove safety violators from the road.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration leads this battle by identifying, creating and promoting safety regulations that make our highways safer for all drivers. As I learned when I earned my Commercial Driver’s License, driving a big rig is challenging work. We all rely on skilled operators to prevent major catastrophes from occurring, or – as was the case in Arizona – to prevent major catastrophes from turning even worse.

Truck accident attorney Michael Leizerman is the author of the three-volume series “Litigating Truck Accident Cases.” If you or a family member has been involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer, call 800-628-4500.

(Photo credit: Oscar Perez / Casa Grande Dispatch)

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