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Semi Carrying Hazardous Materials Flips on I-95

An accident involving a tractor-trailer hauling chemicals on I-95 brought traffic to a stand still for hours Tuesday. Officials say that a Mitsubishi Montero driven by 27-year-old Fritz Donatien of Fort Lauderdale swerved to avoid debris in his lane while traveling south on I-95.

His evasive maneuvers caused him to run into the side of a tractor-trailer that was also southbound on I-95. The semi was hauling barrels of hazardous chemicals according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The impact of the collision caused the driver of the semi, 46-year-old Walter Sadana Simon, to lose control of his vehicle. The vehicle overturned, crashing into a barrier wall and blocking multiple lanes of traffic. Simon was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital with serious injuries.

Emergency responders had a difficult time just reaching the scene of the accident due to traffic congestion. The area around the accident is undergoing road construction for needed repairs and to expand the express lanes of I-95 an additional 13 miles. Because traffic was completely stopped as a result of the accident, it took the technical clean up team longer than expected to reach the crash site. Once there, they immediately peeled back the top of the overturned trailer and began removing the volatile chemicals, which were listed as Xylene and Benzyl alcohol which are both extremely flammable.

Fortunately for the many travelers along I-95 today, the materials did not ignite nor were more people injured in the accident. However, the outcome could have been very different. I-95 is a heavily traveled artery in the metro area, with thousands of drivers criss-crossing its lanes every day. Trucks carrying all manner of chemicals and dangerous materials share the road with private motorists. The potential for damage and injury from an auto accident such as this one is very great. This incident is a perfect example of how one small act, swerving to avoid debris, can cascade into a major accident.

Though every motorist does his or her best to avoid dangerous situations and behaviors while driving, sometimes vigilance is not enough. No driver on I-95 this morning could have predicted an event such as the one that unfolded. If the truck and its contents would have caught fire, the headlines would read very differently, with perhaps hundreds of victims from this one small incident. The physical and emotional damage would have been very high.

At the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A., we are here to help innocent victims of vehicle accidents such as the one that occurred on I-95 on Tuesday. Our team of legal specialists is experienced in assisting those that may simply have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, please give us a call today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587).

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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