COLUMBIA, SC – Three people were injured and hospitalized after a fiery tractor trailer accident occurred Thursday morning, Sept 16, in Lexington County, South Carolina. The two vehicle collision occurred near the state capital of Columbia on Interstate 20 and shut down the highway for more than four hours.
On Thursday morning an unidentified truck driver was traveling through Lexington County, SC, driving a semi tractor trailer. The 18 wheeler truck was westbound on Interstate 20.
The truck accident occurred at around 11:00 a.m. Thursday morning as the semi trailer moved through the city of Lexington, just west of the capital city of Columbia, SC. As the tractor trailer passed through the area near mile marker 57 on the interstate it was suddenly cut off by an eastbound red sedan that crossed over into the opposite lanes of traffic.
According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the red sedan had three occupants in it when it apparently went out of control in the eastbound lanes of I-20. The red car drove across the grassy median of the highway, entered the westbound lanes, and crashed into the semi trailer truck. The impact of the truck accident caused the semi trailer to jack-knife. The tractor trailer truck then slid along the metal guardrail before crashing at the side of the interstate and exploding into flames. At least one gas tank was punctured and the spilled diesel gas fed the truck fire.
The red sedan crossed back into the grassy median after the truck accident and flipped over onto its roof, momentarily trapping the driver and the two passengers inside.
SC Highway Patrol Troopers and emergency teams responded to the scene of the truck accident. Local firefighters battled the flames on the crashed semi truck while EMTs attempted to give aid to the victims. The three occupants in the red sedan were extricated from the crushed car and stabilized at the scene. They were then transported to several different hospitals in both Richland and Lexington counties. The injuries were considered serious but not life threatening. The semi driver was able to escape from the burning 18 wheeler and was not injured in the truck accident.
SC Highway Patrol Troopers had to shut down a section of the interstate while the rescue workers helped the victims and firefighters worked to extinguish the burning semi trailer. Highway crews were also brought to the truck accident site to clear the demolished red car from the median and to tow the burnt wreckage of the trailer truck off the side of the highway. The westbound lanes of I-20 would be closed while the crews worked and eastbound traffic would move at a crawl for most of the afternoon.
Smaller vehicles were rerouted to U.S. 378 however 18 wheeler trucks had to be diverted to the shoulder of the highway as there was no room for the large rigs to turn around. Some truck drivers reported being trapped on the interstate for over three hours after the truck accident. Traffic flow began to return to normal during the afternoon commuter rush.
A team from the SC Highway Patrol Accident Investigation Unit conducted a reconstruction of the truck accident. The preliminary investigation points to the collision being caused by the driver of the car who drove into oncoming traffic.
No charges have been made at this time and the truck accident remains under investigation.
Published by Atlanta truck accident lawyer Fried Goldberg LLC, expert nationwide truck accident attorneys specializing in commercial truck injury law across the United States. For more information about South Carolina trucking laws, truck injury causes and victims rights, talk to an expert truck attorney for a free initial consultation at 1.877.591.1801.