Five Killed, five Injured In Teutopolis Ammonia Truck Accident

Five People Died, Another Five Injured When Semi-Truck Carrying Caustic Anhydrous Ammonia Overturned In Teutopolis on U.S. Highway 40

Five Killed, five Injured In Teutopolis Ammonia Truck Accident

TEUTOPOLIS, ILLINOIS (Septemer 30, 2023) – Five people have tragically died and another five were seriously injured in a Teutopolis semi-truck accident on U.S. Highway 40.

Effingham County officials are saying that the incident took place around 9:25 p.m. on Friday. A semi-truck carrying ammonia overturned following a multiple-vehicle collision before ending up in a ditch.

The semi-truck was carrying about  7,500 gallons of anhydrous ammonia, roughly half of which leaked following the crash. Anhydrous ammonia is used in a number of applications including in the cooling systems for commercial buildings.

Around 500 people within a one mile radius of the chemical spill had to be evacuated. Clean up crews said that the leak was partially patched, but the long term damage to the surrounding homes and area remains unknown.

Paramedics were called to the scene of the collision in order to help all of the victims. Sadly, five people lost their lives in the crash and another five were seriously injured.

A full investigation into what happened remains ongoing at this time.

Liability For Effingham County Truck Accidents

Semi-trucks make up a relatively small number of the vehicles on the road. But they are involved in a disproportionate number of fatal collisions. According to the IIHS, “Large trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger vehicles. They are taller and have greater ground clearance than cars, which means that lower-riding vehicles can slide beneath truck trailers, with deadly consequences. Strong underride guards can prevent that from happening.” Truck drivers should take a number of measures in order to prevent collisions.

  • Truck drivers should check their blind spots before making turns.
  • Truck drivers should follow other vehicles at a safe distance.
  • Truck drivers should  take periodic breaks during their trips.

Truck drivers must get a commercial license and do everything in their power to avoid collisions.  If a truck driver makes an improper lane change, they could face fines and civil liability for the crash under Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-709). Many collisions also involve truck drivers that are following other vehicles too closely. If a truck driver fails to slow down to avoid collisions, this could form the basis of a negligence claim.

Depending on the facts of any case, a truck driver’s employer could also be held at fault for a collision. In general, employers are liable for the wrongful acts of their employees who were performing their job duties. The company that loaded a semi-truck could also be liable for a collision. Many truck accidents are due to cargo shift after a truck was not loaded properly. Victims of truck accidents tend to suffer very serious injuries including:

  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Spinal cord injuries

The vast majority of truck accidents are preventable and involve some amount of driver error. Operating a semi-truck is much more difficult than driving a smaller vehicle. On top of this, truck drivers are often pushed to the limit by unrealistic delivery timelines. It is important for victims of truck accidents to understand that they do have rights. The family of any person that died in a truck accident may have legal recourse through a wrongful death claim.

Investigating  Illinois Truck Accidents

We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the families of those that lost their lives in this Teutopolis crash. It is our sincere hope that the other victims will be able to make a full recovery. State officials need to do their part and help all of the families and people affected by the evacuation. This is going to require a long-term commitment.

Do you need more information about a Teutopolis semi-truck accident? Our team of consumer safety advocates are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any collision we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.