Every year, about half a million trucking accidents occur in the United States, fatally killing about 5,000 people and severely injuring countless others. At Lewis & Tompkins, we’ve recently learned about one such Maryland semi-truck accident that happened in July, causing the driver of a car to plunge off of a bridge and into the Chesapeake Bay.
The July 19 crash was apparently caused when Gabor Lovasz, a truck driver on his first solo-trip without an experienced driver onboard, became distracted and struck a Chrysler Sebring driven by 22-year-old Morgan Lake. Lovasz also collided with a second vehicle, a Mazda SUV, in the crash. Just before the accident, Lovasz was reported traveling between 47 and 51 mph in the truck, while Ms. Lake was driving about 4 mph in the heavy traffic congestion. The force of the collision sent her car over the bridge and down into the Chesapeake Bay water 27 feet below.
According to the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), Lovasz was charged with driving at a speed greater than reasonable, negligent driving, failure to control a vehicle, and make making an unsafe lane change. In all, his fines totaled around $600.
With calm thinking, Ms. Lake was able to escape her car while underwater, and sufferer unspecified minor injuries as a result.
According to the MDTA, the bridge was the site of a similar crash just a few months earlier in April 2013. Because there were two similar crashes in such a short time span, the MDTA is looking into whether there are further efforts that could enhance motorist safety on the bridge, MDTA Police Chief Col. Michael Kundrat stated. The NTSB is also looking into the accident to see if there are any national safety issues that may have contributed to the crash.
The NTSB also investigated a previous fatal semi-truck accident on the bridge in 2008 that killed the driver of the tractor-trailer. At that time, bridge barriers were upgraded. Apparently, those safety measures were not enough.
At Lewis & Tompkins, we are extremely thankful to hear that there were no fatalities from this recent tractor-trailer accident, and our thoughts go out to Morgan Lake during her recovery process.
For three generations, Lewis & Tompkins has been committed to seeking justice for Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., traffic accident victims, and working to make our roadways safer for motorists and passengers of all kinds. If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, and have questions about your legal rights, we may be able to help. Call our offices at 202-296-0666 for a free case evaluation.