A recent crash in West Haven, VT between a tour bus and a jackknifed tractor trailer claimed the life of a New Jersey man. According to news reports, the tour bus, driven by Darnell Hannah of Millstone, NJ, was en route to the Sugarbush and Stowe resorts when Hannah was suddenly confronted with a 53’ tractor trailer blocking the entire roadway. Various reports of the accident indicate that Hannah’s considerable efforts saved the lives of many, but he was unable to completely avoid a collision. He became trapped in the wreckage and later died from his injuries.
The roads in the area were reportedly icy and weather is listed as a contributing factor in the accident, but this likely does not tell the whole story. A jackknife condition generally arises from some form of operator error, or a defect in the condition of the big rig – often due to poor or improper maintenance. Examples would include excessive speed, poor skill in handling the rig, improper tire pressures, improper brake adjustment or defective brakes. Without a complete and careful assessment of all potential contributing factors, it is not possible to know exactly why the tractor trailer which took Mr. Hannah’s life jackknifed. And it is for this very reason, that victims of trucking accidents need prompt, skilled legal assistance.