Personal Injury Blog

Officials Investigating Fatal Tractor-Trailer, Bus Crash in Prince George’s County

By: Allan M. Siegel

Officials from Prince George’s County Police Department are investigating a multi-vehicle crash in Clinton, Maryland that left one victim dead and several others injured.

According to initial reports, the incident occurred early Wednesday morning, April 10, 2019, around 6:30 am. Police have noted multiple vehicles – including a large tractor-trailer and a school bus bound for Charles H. Flowers High School – were traveling through an intersection at Branch Ave. and Surratts Rd.

The commercial tractor-trailer, school bus (No. 4104), and five other vehicles were involved in the collision. One vehicle became trapped between the bus and tractor-trailer, which had overturned. The driver of that vehicle, who police have identified as a 32-year-old mother from Clinton, MD, died as a result of the crash.

Two other drivers and two teenage students aboard the school bus were injured and taken to a local hospital for evaluation. The truck driver sustained no injuries, police said.

What Happened

Investigators are still looking into what exactly caused the crash, as well as the sequence of events leading up to the collision. Because multiple vehicles were involved, a fatality occurred, and a commercial truck and school bus were involved, officials have stated it could take weeks or months before the investigation is completed.

Though a full analysis will come with time, preliminary investigations and dash cam footage from a witness suggest the tractor-trailer had been traveling south on Branch and was approaching a red light at the intersection of Surratts Rd. Police believe the tractor-trailer drove through the red light, and may have initiated the chain reaction crash.

Tragic Consequences. Challenging Cases.

Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. expresses our condolences for all involved, and for the family of the young mother who tragically lost her life in this collision. As a firm that’s represented victims and families throughout the DMV in many types of motor vehicle accident cases, we know the personal injury and wrongful death claims which follow can be immensely emotional experiences. Factors like those involved in this particular crash, can also make for many legal complexities.

Wednesday’s crash highlights the importance of vigilant vehicle operation, as well as several issues that can make civil injury and wrongful death claims filed by victims all the more challenging. These include issues such as:

  • Wrongful death and serious injuries;
  • Multiple vehicles and increased difficulty determining / apportioning fault and liability;
  • Intersection accidents, which have several various causes (i.e. traffic violations, distraction, impairment) and require meticulous investigations
  • Commercial trucks, which necessitate in-depth investigations into trucking regulations and potential violations (i.e. overworked / fatigued truckers and HOS violations, drug or alcohol impairment, negligent hiring, texting, vehicle defects or improper vehicle maintenance, and more);
  • School buses, which also implicate regulatory investigations and a higher standard of care, and which may create potential challenges with government / school district liability;
  • Insurance coverage issues, as well as potential disputes and denials by commercial insurance companies.

CSCS has dealt with these issues in many of the cases we’ve handled in our 45+ years in practice, and knows they demand immediate, detailed, and dedicated attention, even as officials and investigators are working to determine an official cause of their own. Following tragedies like these, the support of caring and highly experienced attorneys can be invaluable – both in navigating difficult times, and fighting for the justice and compensation victims deserve.

Our lawyers are readily available to speak with accident victims and their loved ones at all hours of the day. We serve Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., and offer free consultations. Call (888) 885-5638 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.