Truck slams into car at I-78 toll plaza in Pennsylvania, 1 killed

A horrific wreck at a toll plaza on Interstate 78 claimed the life of a 65-year-old man Monday morning. Authorities say that the fatal accident victim was paying the toll when a tractor trailer slammed into the rear of his car. It is not clear how fast the big rig was moving when it plowed into the stopped Ford Taurus station wagon. A witness told the Express-Times that the rig lurched up as it barreled through the toll plaza. The two wrecked vehicles continued moving until reaching the shoulder of the interstate.

A fire erupted in the crash--the cab of the truck trapped the Ford underneath. Authorities say that the driver of the passenger vehicle did not survive. Investigators are reviewing information hoping to get a better idea about the circumstances surrounding the tragic fatal truck accident.

The interstate was strewn with debris along a roughly 200-foot swath were the vehicles traveled during the violent crash. A witness says that the accident occurred in the area adjacent to the high speed EZ-Pass lanes at the toll plaza, according to the newspaper account. Authorities say that the truck driver, a 55-year-old resident of Allentown, Pennsylvania, suffered relatively minor injuries and was transported to an area hospital.

We have discussed many issues involving dangers on Pennsylvania roads. Cars crossing into oncoming traffic, right-of-way issues at intersections and bad road conditions may often be implicated in a traffic accident. Similarly, traffic jams may surprise some drivers if they are not paying attention to traffic patterns.

In a toll booth situation, many drivers may have had the experience of looking into the rear-view mirror and watching as a car or truck approaches. In the recent fatal accident in Williams Township, Pennsylvania, it is not clear why the truck failed to stop for the Ford at the plaza.

Authorities have not issued any citations as the investigation continues.

Commercial vehicle accidents may involve complex issues if negligence of a driver is implicated in a crash. When a commercial vehicle is a large truck, such as a tractor trailer, the risk of injury or death for accident victims obviously may be significant. The size and mass of a moving tractor trailer can destroy a smaller vehicle even at relatively low speeds.