Joplin man dies in chain reaction truck crash on Interstate 44

The last days of 2013 were marred by the loss of a 44-year-old Joplin man in a series of crashes on Interstate 44 in Lawrence County.

Law enforcement officials said that the chain reaction of collisions began with a truck accident. Afterwards, the Joplin man was dead and seven others injured in a series of wrecks that included three tractor-trailers and four passenger vehicles.

According to the Missouri State Patrol, the accidents happened during rush hour on Interstate 44, about a mile west of Halltown.

The crashes were triggered when a westbound Freightliner 18-wheeler driven by a California trucker slammed into the back of a westbound car driven by a Maryland man.

The Maryland man's car then crashed into the side of a big rig driven by a New Mexico man.

The California Freightliner then collided with the back end of the Joplin man's car, sending that vehicle into yet another crash, this time with a car driven by a Green Bay, Wisconsin, man. The Green Bay man's car was propelled into another crash, too: a collision with a vehicle driven by a 46-year-old Neosho man.

The California Freightliner then hit another westbound tractor-trailer, this one driven by a 37-year-old trucker also from California.

The driver of the truck that began the series of crashes was taken to a Springfield hospital with injuries described as serious. A boy traveling in the truck was also transported to a Springfield medical facility with minor injuries.

The Maryland motorist was also treated for minor injuries, police officers said.

However, the Joplin man was pronounced dead at the scene of the accidents.

An 11-year-old child in his car was taken to Springfield's Mercy Hospital with minor injuries.

The Neosho man and a Neosho woman in his vehicle were also taken to Mercy with injuries deemed minor.

It's difficult for a family to lose a member at any time, but perhaps most difficult at this time of year. We wish them well as they grapple with not only their grief, but a host of legal issues requiring the compassionate assistance of an experienced wrongful death attorney.

Source: Joplin Globe, "Joplin man killed, seven others injured in chain-reaction crash on interstate," Dec. 14, 2013

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