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Runaway trailer carrying crushed cars kills seven near Syracuse

A devastating car accident about 25 miles south of Syracuse, NY, claimed the lives of seven people, four of them children, just hours before the start of Memorial Day weekend. The enormity of the crash left even first responders shaken. It happened when a trailer carrying crushed cars broke away from its truck and slammed into the victims’ SUV, tearing the van apart. Some of the victims had to be removed from underneath the trailer.

The accident occurred Wednesday evening, May 29, on a two-lane stretch of Route 13 in the small rural community of Truxton, NY. The three adults killed were in their twenties. One was killed along with her two young daughters. The other two adults who died in the crash were engaged to be married. The only survivor in the SUV was the father of the other two children who died. He was reported to be in good condition. The children were all between the ages of four and seven. The two people in the truck, which belonged to Newton Salvage of Georgetown, NY, were uninjured.

Investigators have not yet determined whether mechanical failure, driver error, or some other issue caused the trailer to break away from its truck. In New York, trucks must be inspected at least once a year. They can also be pulled over for random roadside checks by the Department of Transportation (DOT) or state troopers. In addition to these precautionary measures, the DOT requires drivers to do a “walk-around” inspection of their trucks before each trip. One of the items they are supposed to check is the truck-trailer coupling. Newton Salvage has only been in business since 2012. According to the DOT, state troopers had records of one roadside inspection, where only minor violations were found. None of these was serious enough to remove the truck from service.

Once the investigation is completed, there is likely to be civil and possibly criminal legal action taken against the salvage company, and possibly the driver himself. There are law firms that specialize in helping people who have suffered injury or lost loved ones in auto accidents.

Source:  The Huffington Post, “Truxton, New York Crash Kills Seven, Including Four Kids” John Kekis, May. 30, 2013

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