The Combs-Hehl Bridge rises over a hundred feet above the Ohio River. The major artery that connects Ohio and Kentucky, the bridge has had its fair share of accidents, but the most recent one was horrifying. A devastating March 15 pileup sent one car plunging into the river below. Police now think they know the identity of the driver, though strong currents have so far thwarted recovery efforts.
How did the car get off the bridge?
Accident reconstructions take a considerable amount of time. With an accident this complicated, it could be up to year before the ultimate cause is known. Eyewitness accounts report four distinct accidents that created a chain reaction. Drivers behind the accidents were traveling at highway speed, and created additional obstacles while trying to maneuver through the wrecks.
The driver that went off the bridge was attempting to weave through the accidents. Fox 19 Now reported, “The vehicle was about halfway across the bridge when it was involved in another crash, fell over the side and plunged into the river below.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][One witness] said a maroon colored vehicle was approaching quickly and frantically swerving. He said the car clipped a semi-truck, then hit the side of the wall [and went over the bridge].” Campbell County Police Chief Craig Sorrell said there were 4 different accidents that occurred, creating the chain reaction.
The Louisville office of the Ohio Coast Guard shut river traffic down in both directions after the crash, reopening it on Wednesday, March 16.
Collisions with big trucks have big consequences
It could very well have been the last collision that sent the unidentified man to his death in the river below. Colliding with a tractor-trailer is nothing like colliding with another passenger vehicle. Trucks are so massive that the force of a collision is felt almost entirely by the smaller vehicle.
The complexities of such accidents increase when there are multiple cars involved. A case like this, where the accident happened on a bridge spanning Kentucky and Ohio, will be more so. Kentucky is a pure comparative fault state, so the percentage of an award a driver can obtain will be affected by the percentage of fault he or she shares in contributing to his or her own injuries. Ohio, on the other hand, will not allow a plaintiff to recover if he or she is 51% at fault of the accident. Two different jurisdictions, two different statutes, and four different accidents means one very difficult situation for everyone involved.
When tractor-trailers are involved in accidents, the results are almost always fatal to other drivers. In this case, the effects were beyond imagining. Big trucks cause big accidents, and when a loved one is lost, families and friends are affected forever. We extend our deepest condolences to the friends and family of the unknown driver.
At Crandall & Pera Law, we fight for accident victims and their families. We are here when you need us. Contact our experienced Ohio and Kentucky truck accident lawyers; we are here to help.