Icy roadway conditions are being held partly to blame for a deadly head-on collision near Springfield, Ohio. A tanker truck jackknifed, crossed the midline on I-70, and crashed head-on into a van carrying ten people, killing four of them. The van was carrying clients and staffers from the Creative Learning Workshop, a center that provides vocational and rehabilitation services for adults with developmental disabilities. The four killed in the truck accident were two employees, including the driver, and two clients. The truck driver suffered only minor injuries and was released.
The tanker truck was empty at the time, and this may have been a cause of the truck accident. Semi trucks partly depend on the weight of their cargo to give them stability. Without sufficient weight on the trailer tires, it may be less responsive to braking or maneuvering than the cab, which can cause it to veer to the side or otherwise maneuver independently of the cab, what is known as a jackknife. Once a truck begins to jackknife, it can be very difficult to regain control. And even an empty semi truck is heavy enough to inflict deadly damage on other vehicles. For this reason, underloaded trucks can be just as dangerous as overloaded trucks, especially during adverse weather conditions.