A bi-rig burst into flames after hitting an SUV on I-580; three people were hospitalized. (Photo: Contra Costa Times)
Truck accident: Three people were hospitalized Tuesday after a big-rig sideswiped an SUV and then burst into flames on Interstate 580 in Pleasanton.
• A big-rig sideswiped an SUV on the freeway, spilled diesel fuel and hydraulic fluid on the road, and then burst into flames.
• The truck driver and his son escaped before the big-rig burst into flames. Both of them were injured and hospitalized.
• The SUV driver suffered unspecified injuries and also was hospitalized.
The fiery freeway crash occurred at 1:20 p.m. on the eastbound side of the freeway, according to a report in the Contra Costa Times.
California Highway Patrol Officer Pete Van Eckhardt told the Times that a Toyota 4Runner was stopped alongside the freeway when an eastbound big-rig carrying a construction crane sideswiped it.
The impact sent the semi truck into a slide along the side of the concrete barrier wall. The damaged big-rig spilled diesel fuel, hydraulic fluid, and other debris on the freeway, Van Eckhardt said. Then it burst into flames.
The truck driver and his 7-year-old son managed to escape from the truck before it caught fire, but both of them were injured. According to the Times report, the driver sustained moderate injuries and was transported to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley to be treated. The 7-year-old boy was taken to Childrens Hospital in Oakland to be treated for cuts and other minor injuries.
The driver of the SUV suffered minor injuries, according to Van Eckhardt. He also was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.
It took a hazardous materials team more than five hours to clean up the spill and the burnt remains of the big-rig from the crash scene, according to the Times report.
What is a minor injury?
Police and firefighter classifications of “minor injuries” can be misleading. Even a so-called “minor” injury may be far more serious than it initially appears and can have a major impact on the victim’s life. Some injuries aren’t even evident until days or weeks after an accident.
Injuries that are designated as “minor” may include whiplash, strains, sprains, lacerations, and bone fractures. All of these types of injuries may vary in severity.
* Whiplash, for example, is neck injury caused by sudden jerking or “whipping” of the head, as often occurs in car accidents, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It may not be noticed for several days, yet it can cause stiffness and numbness in the head, neck, back, shoulders, and arms. The initial symptoms may appear to go away and then return for months or even years, according to the NIH report.
* Strains and sprains are soft tissue injuries. Strains can cause pain, muscle spasms, swelling, and trouble moving the muscle, according to the NIH. Sprains involve pain, swelling, bruising, and being unable to move the joint. Initial treatment often requires taking time off work to rest the injury, sometimes followed by longer-term physical therapy.
* Lacerations include cuts, tears, and puncture wounds. A variety of factors determine how quickly a laceration may heal. Infection is always a risk with a laceration, and this risk can be particularly dangerous for diabetics. Even minor lacerations may cause permanent scars.
* Bone fractures are very common in car accidents. They can be extremely painful, and may involve swelling, bruising, or bleeding as well as numbness, tingling, and the inability to move a limb. Some fractures require surgery to implant plates, pins, or screws to keep the bone in place. The impact of a fracture on daily activities is immediate and often disabling. Follow-up surgery and physical therapy may stretch the recovery period to months.
Pleasanton Truck Accident Lawyers
The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented truck accident victims for 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.
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