A wreck involving an 18-wheeler took the life of an Oklahoma City man early Monday morning. This tragic wreck occurred around 3:00 a.m., Monday, near the Canadian River. The crash occurred on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike in Newcastle. Phillip Prestriedge, 63-years-old, was backing his car in the westbound lane of the turnpike when a semi truck struck him from behind. James Parker, 64-years-old, of Altus was driving the large tractor trailer. Prestriedge was pronounced dead on the scene.
Questions remain unanswered about this tragic crash. Why was Prestriedge backing his car on the turnpike? Was he having mechanical trouble? Why couldn’t the truck driver avoid the collision? Was there a visibility problem? Did his brakes fail? Troopers reported that both drivers were wearing seatbelts, but neither of the vehicles’ airbags deployed. Sadly, due to massive injuries sustained, Prestriedge was pronounced dead on the scene. Troopers with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol were on the scene investigating for hours. The southbound lane of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike wasn’t open again until almost 8:00 a.m.
Due to their size, wrecks involving large tractor trailers can be catastrophic for other drivers involved. Many big rigs can weigh more than 10,000 pounds. Unfortunately, they account for a disproportionally high rate of fatal crashes. Semi trucks need much more room to stop in the event of an emergency. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a causation study of large truck crashes in 2007. The study found that in crashes involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle one or more of 10 factors are usually involved. It is important to note that these risk factors can be attributed to both truck drivers and the drivers of passenger vehicles.
- Interruption of the traffic flow
- Unfamiliar with roadway
- Inadequate surveillance
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Illegal maneuver
- False assumption of other road user’s actions
- Distraction by object or person inside vehicle
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a crash involving an eighteen-wheeler, contact the experienced attorneys at the Altman Legal Group at (940) 761-4000, for a free consultation. Victims located in Oklahoma can call our Lawton office at (580) 353-4878. An experienced personal injury attorney can check into potential truck safety violations, and protect your rights. The team at the Altman Legal Group sends their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Phillip Prestriedge.