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Firefighter loses arm after southeast Texas truck wreck

When 18-wheelers are not properly operated on the roads, it can create major destruction. Driver fatigue or inexperience on behalf of truck drivers leads to far too many trucking accidents in Texas each year.

On Thanksgiving Day, several accidents resulted after the driver of a semi-truck hauling crude oil allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel, causing it to run off the road and erupt into flames in southeast Texas. The accident occurred about 75 miles northeast of Houston near Sour Lake early Thursday morning.

Traffic on the road had to be rerouted as 6,700 gallons of crude oil that had leaked from the truck burned out. Unfortunately, a volunteer firefighter who was directing traffic at the scene of the explosion was seriously injured after being run over by another semi-truck that was attempting to back up.

The injured firefighter reportedly had to have her left arm amputated and also suffered a head injury and damage to the fingers on her right arm, a spokeswoman from the Hardin County emergency management office told reporters.

According to reports, the driver of the truck that caused the explosion was hospitalized but in stable condition. It has not been reported if he will face charges. However, the driver of the second semi-truck was reportedly cited for backing without safety.

As you can see, a simple mistake on behalf of a semi-truck driver can result in a chain of unfortunate events. Not only are tankers extremely powerful machines, they also often carry dangerous cargo.

When truck drivers are negligent and cause serious accidents, the drivers and their employers can be held civilly liable in personal injury lawsuits. In this case, it is possible that both truck drivers could potentially face liability.

Sources: Houston Chronicle, "Firefighter loses arm in tanker accident," Nov. 26, 2011. Beaumont Enterprise, "Hardin County firefighter still in intensive care after 18-wheeler accident," Jessica Lipscomb, Nov. 28, 2011.

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