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Truck accident kills seven after trailer detaches from rig

Seven people, including three young children, were killed in a horrific semi-truck accident in New York. The accident, which happened when the trailer somehow disconnected from the truck while the vehicle was moving down the road, may raise questions about the safety of the truck.

The semi-truck was driving on an upstate New York road when the trailer detached from the truck as a minivan was behind the vehicle. The van driver saw the trailer coming and drove off the road in an effort to avoid it, but there was no time to avoid the truck accident, first responders said. The disconnected trailer slammed into the van and tore it apart. The trailer and van both stopped on the highway shoulder. The trailer had to be jacked up to remove some victims.

Members of at least two families were in the minivan. Killed were a 26-year-old woman and her 4-year-old and 5-year-old daughters. A 21-year-old and 24-year-old also died, as did a 7-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy. The father of the 7-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy survived and was hospitalized.

Two people in the truck were not injured, illustrating another point about truck accidents. Because trucks are so much larger than other vehicles on the road, occupants of passenger cars are more likely to be injured or killed in a truck accident.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident, and the results of the investigation may show how the truck separated from the trailer. It could be a defect, the result of improper maintenance, or from some other cause. Whatever the cause, investigators and family members will want to know what happened.

Source: The Associated Press, "Runaway trailer kills 7 in N.Y., including 4 kids," May 30, 2013

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