A fiery crash at the corner of State Route 29 in Springville, Susquehanna County took the life of a marine and father of two on Friday night. WBRE News reported that two fracking trucks and the SUV, which was carrying Staff Sgt. Andrew Stevens, were stopped on Strickland Hill Road when a water truck smashed into the back of them, killing Stevens. The chain reaction crash sandwiched the SUV between the water truck and a Kenworth Tractor-trailer, and the SUV went up in flames.
News reports said that Sgt. Stevens had done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as serving as an embassy guard in African and Canada. Stevens, who was home for his sisters wedding, leaves behind a wife and two young sons, ages 2 and 5.
The boom in production of oil and natural gas has contributed to a spike in traffic fatalities in towns where roadways are jammed with large fracking trucks. An Associated Press analysis of traffic deaths and U.S. census data in six drilling states shows that in some places, fatalities have more than quadrupled since 2004, a period when most American roads have become much safer.
This tragic crash is the latest in a string of deadly crashes involving fracking trucks across the nation in the past few years, including a drilling water truck overturning onto a car in West Virginia, crushing two young boys inside, and three retired teachers killed in a collision with a drilling truck in Texas.
According to the Associated Press report, drilling activity increases too quickly for small communities to keep pace in making changes in road safety, such as building better roads and installing traffic signals. The hydraulic-fracturing process also requires 2,300 to 4,000 truck trips per well to deliver needed fluids, while older drilling techniques needed many less trips.
Not only are fracking truck accidents killing innocent victims in vehicles traveling around them, they are also the single biggest cause of fatalities to oil and gas workers, according to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
The personal injury lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli are experts in fighting for the rights of victims of truck and car accidents, as well as for those who have been injured as a result of the Marcellus Shale industry. If you need help, call the Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton car accident attorneys at Fellerman Ciarimboli at 570-714-HURT.
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With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.