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NBC news affiliate, WSAV, has reported that a semi truck crash rear-ended a minivan on I-95 in McIntosh County, Georgia killing three-year-old Sean Thornton and injuring five others.

A toddler is dead, 5 other people injured after an accident along Interstate 95.

The van was apparently driving southbound near mile marker 63 in McIntosh County when it was hit from behind by a tractor trailer and run off the road.

A family of 5, Susan and Daniel Thornton and their three children, all from Pittsburgh, were inside at the time of the crash.

It took nearly two hours for Mcintosh and Liberty County firefighters to get them all out.

3 year-old Sean Thornton died in the crash

The other 4 family members were taken to the hospital with various other injuries.

The truck driver, Willie Hill, suffered a broken pelvis and leg.

The accident is still under investigation.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Thornton family, their friends and their community. No family should have to endure such a needless tragedy.

Too many people have been killed by semi truck crashes and trucking accidents.

Nationwide, large trucks (known as tractor trailers, semi trucks, eighteen wheelers, diesel, big rigs, or commercial trucks) make up only about 3% of the vehicles on the road. However, they account for far more traffic fatalities. For example, in Missouri, semi truck crashes make up as much as 15% of traffic deaths. In Illinois, tractor trailer crashes cause more than 10% of traffic deaths.

The National Transportation Safety Board ("NTSB") lists the following as some of the most common causes of big rig accidents:

  • Poor Driver Training

  • Driver Fatigue (Tiredness)

  • Speeding

  • Overloaded Trucks

  • Oversized Trucks

  • Brake Failure

  • Poor Driving Conditions

  • Driver Inexperience

  • Failure To Yield The Right-Of-Way

  • Driving Under The Influence of Alcohol Or Drugs

  • Aggressive, Dangerous Or Reckless Driving

  • Mechanical Failure (Or Improper Maintenance)

  • Defective Parts (Such As Defective Steering Or Brakes)

Truckers and trucking companies must be mindful of each of these trucking accident causes.

Driving an 80,000 tractor trailer covering hundreds of thousands of miles is an awesome responsibility. Truckers and trucking corporations must be vigilant about safety.

Driver fatigue is a particularly dangerous — and completely preventable — cause of trucking accidents. Nearly 15 years ago, the NTSB issued a report warning of truck driver fatigue dangers.

The NTSB found that trucker fatigue was a contributing factor in 30%-40% of all diesel truck accidents. The NTSB found that proper sleep patterns are imperative for truck driver safety. Truckers must get 8 hours of continuous sleep after driving for 10 hours or after being on duty for 15 hours for proper safety.

The NTSB just recently issued a warning that truck drivers should also be screened for a medical condition called sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea denies people the rest they need, and it has been found to be a factor in incident involving every transportation mode, NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said in letters.

Trucking companies need to quit putting profits over safety. Do they think there is a separate set of rules for them? These companies need to make sure their drivers are properly trained, properly rested and using the highest degree of safety at all times.

Visit our trucking accident web site to learn more about trucking accident safety or trucking accident investigation.

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