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Multi-Vehicle Accident on Highway 17 Kills One, Injures Seven

Multi-Vehicle Accident on Highway 17 Kills One, Injures Seven

Commuters along northbound Highway 17 in Santa Clara County came to a standstill after a big rig hauling a double load of dirt lost control of the brakes and jackknifed, colliding with 10 vehicles. The California Highway Patrol confirmed one fatality and multiple injuries at the scene of the crash.

CHP officers said that impact of the big rig caused a chain reaction of collisions and even rolled one vehicle under the trailer of the semi before stopping, killing the driver inside. Eight others suffered a range of injuries and were taken to nearby hospitals. One driver was listed in critical condition for a lacerated liver.

At the scene of the accident, the truck driver told reporters that the brakes were smoking and ineffective when attempting to stop for traffic near Bear Creek Road. In an effort to avoid hitting the row of cars ahead, the driver steered the big rig into the guardrails along the side of the road.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, at least three vehicles were so badly damaged that the occupants were trapped inside until firefighters could use the Jaws of Life to extricate them. It took roughly 10 hours for emergency crew to clear the wreckage and allow traffic to pass through the notoriously dangerous four-lane highway.

Known for its sharp turns, steep descents, and dense traffic, Highway 17 has been the site of numerous pileups, spurring debates about whether or not to ban big rigs from the highway during peak hours. While CHP continues to investigate whether mechanical defects or driver error led to this tragic incident, commuters are advised to drive cautiously and keep a safe distance from other vehicles on the road.

This recent collision hits particularly close to home for the San Jose law firm of Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP who are representing one of the victims of this senseless crash. Our thoughts go out to those affected.