A serious accident involving an ambulance and a tractor-trailer last week highlights the dangers emergency responders in Oklahoma face when other motorists drive negligently. On the Will Rogers Turnpike, there are gaps between the concrete barriers that are spread out every one to three miles and are meant for emergencies. Early on the morning of April 10, however, an ambulance responding to an emergency became the emergency itself when it was rear-ended by a semi-truck while making a U-turn to get to an accident victim on the other side. If you have been injured in a serious trucking accident in Oklahoma, consult our qualified lawyers at Atkins & Markoff for legal help. Our law firm is located in Oklahoma City, and our legal team has years of experience protecting the rights of truck accident victims throughout the state.
DANGERS OF NEGLIGENT DRIVING IN OKLAHOMA
The driver of the ambulance, Austin Crow, is amazed that no one was injured in the trucking accident, which took place near Claremore on the Will Rogers Turnpike. Crow said he sounded the sirens and put on the blinkers when he pulled into the turnaround, but that didn’t stop the semi-truck from striking the ambulance. “It kind of felt like a bomb went off in the back of the ambulance,” said Crow. “There was definitely – we had a third passenger with us and, definitely, thank God for still being here.” According to Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) Captain George Brown, the only vehicles permitted to use the turnpike turnarounds are police, ambulances, fire, the turnpike authority, public utility trucks and wreckers responding to an OHP call.
FATAL SEMI-TRUCK ACCIDENT IN 2006
Making a U-turn on a highway is a maneuver many highway troopers dread, and many would rather wait for an exit or overpass rather than using the turnarounds, but sometimes it’s not an option. “If it’s an emergency situation and we have to get to a location, sometimes we are forced to use those walls,” said Brown. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time an Oklahoma ambulance has been struck by a tractor-trailer on the turnpike while responding to an emergency. In 2006, OHP trooper Bill McClendon was making a U-turn on the Will Rogers Turnpike when his ambulance collided with a semi-truck, killing both McClendon and the driver.
OUR QUALIFIED ATTORNEYS CAN HELP YOU FILE A CLAIM
The fatal accident in 2006 and this most recent trucking accident highlight the dangers of U-turns and the risks emergency responders face when attempting to reach car accident victims on Oklahoma highways. “That was my partner, at the time,” said Brown about the trooper killed in the 2006 accident. “Those are dangerous things, so our word, our message, is for everyone to know that, to look for emergency vehicles responding.” If you have suffered injuries in a car accident or trucking accident in Oklahoma that you believe was caused by another person’s negligence, contact our reputable attorneys at Atkins & Markoff today. You may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, in order to pursue financial compensation for your injuries.