A recent workweek got off to a slow start for many in the Kansas City area who have to take Interstate 435 to get to work. The reason was a motor vehicle accident. The rush hour crash involved not just two automobiles colliding, but a total of 13. One of those motor vehicles was a tractor trailer. The truck accident caused traffic delays for over three hours.
According to one report the incident started when the tractor trailer ran into the dividing median as it travelled in the westbound lanes. The other collisions apparently occurred as a result of the truck losing control. The multi vehicle accident left two people injured. Reportedly the severity of the injuries they suffered was not too bad because it is believed that they will recover.
The minor injuries in this accident are a fortunate outcome since crashes involving tractor trailers have the potential to be catastrophic. This is due to a variety of factors including the size and speed the truck is travelling at the time of impact. The load the truck is transporting is also relevant, particularly if it is flammable. Should a fire break out in the collision, it is possible that an explosion could occur.
In this instance it is not clear what, if anything, the tractor trailer was hauling, it is known that it was not a tanker. Despite this, presumable to reduce the risk of an explosion occurring, after the crash the truck’s fuel tanks were drained and the large vehicle was moved.
Because it was not immediately clear what caused the truck to strike the median, an investigation into the matter was likely commenced. Once complete, it is likely it will be determined.
Source: KMBC, “2 injured in 13 vehicle accident on I-435 West at Holmes,” April 22, 2013