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Fiery commercial vehicle accident injures 2, causes road closure

Last week in Barrington, Illinois, a tractor-trailer rear-ended a pickup truck. Both the driver of the pick-up and a passenger received non life-threatening injuries. However, they were transported to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Lake Barrington for treatment.

To make matters worse, several explosions occurred when the semi collided with the truck, resulting in a heavy wave of fire around the tractor-trailer. A police officer reported that it took more than half an hour to bring the blaze under control. The semi was carrying 3,000 pounds of a substance originally believed to be vegetable oil, which spilled in the area. Barrington's Northwest Highway was closed for five hours around the accident scene as workers cleaned the spill.

The day after the accident, authorities learned that the spilled substance was methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, a "compound used in the production of polyurethane." This resulted in an extended closure of sections of the highway and other areas as the cleanup continued. As of this past Thursday, some sections of the highway remained closed. A duty officer with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency assured authorities that the spilled substance is not toxic and poses no danger to the public.

Fortunately, the two occupants of the pick-up came out of the experience with their lives. Being hit from behind by a large semi often results in much more dire consequences. The addition of explosions and intense fire only worsens the possibility of severe injury or even death. The driver of the semi received a citation for "failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident."

For victims of serious commercial vehicle accidents, it is often not enough for the at-fault driver to receive a citation. These victims need a more substantial form of closure as well as a means of deterring future negligence. Talking with a personal injury attorney can open the door to legal solutions that meet the financial and emotional needs of the victim.

Source: Daily Herald, "Northwest Highway in Barrington remains closed to westbound traffic Thursday," Lee Filas and Eric Peterson, March 09, 2017

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