Two Dead After Multiple Tractor-trailers Collide

A truck driver, Jerald Jaynes, 52, and a passenger, William Burleson, 23, were both killed in a fiery tractor-trailer crash involving three big rigs near Highland, Illinois.

According to local media reports, the fatal accident occurred on I-70 just minutes after an earlier tractor-trailer crash farther along on the highway. In that incident, a trailer became separated from a truck cab and dumped boxes of food across the roadway and into the median. Traffic began to back up and another tractor-trailer, driven by Gary Fellure, 53, was at the back of the line of vehicles. For an as yet undetermined reason, Jaynes failed to stop and crashed his rig into the back of Fellure’s truck causing it to instantly burst into flames. The resulting impact and explosion caused a chain reaction damaging yet another tractor-trailer and a pickup truck.

Both Jaynes and Burleson were pronounced dead at the scene. Several other drivers involved in this multiple-collision accident suffered minor injuries.

In the aftermath of this fatal Illinois truck accident, yet another minor wreck occurred when a motorcycle rear-ended another truck that had stopped due to the traffic backup.

Investigators will try to piece together exactly what happened and figure out why so many drivers failed to stop for the traffic backing up on the highway. Rear-end collisions are often caused when drivers become distracted or are following too close behind other vehicles. Once the full report of this accident is released, we will learn if either of these common causes were involved.

After a serious tractor-trailer crash, it is important to find out who or what caused the crash for two reasons. First, to learn how to prevent future accidents and hold accountable anybody whose negligence contributed to the accident. Second, to potentially recover compensation for the injured parties through the civil justice system.

Our firm represents the families of those who have been seriously injured or killed by a trucking company’s negligence. Recently, we negotiated a $2 million settlement for the family of Cathie Dolter, 61, who was killed when she was hit from behind by a tractor trailer at a St. Louis area truck stop. If you or a family member have been involved in a tractor-trailer accident and would like to discuss your case for free, contact us to set up a consultation. Discussing your case comes with no obligation to hire and we don’t receive a fee unless we win your case.