Tractor-Trailer Carrying Vegetable Oil Overturns on I-295

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)—All lanes of I-295 North have reopened following an accident involving an overturned tractor-trailer on Wednesday morning. Virginia State Police are now investigating the incident.

Just before 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 5, police responded to mile marker 24 on I-295 North, just south of the Route 285/Pocahontas Parkway exit. There, the fatigued driver of a 2012 Freightliner had run off the left side of the roadway and his vehicle overturned onto the median.

The truck was en route from Savannah, Ga. to Connecticut at the time of the crash. State Police say the truck ran off the left side of the road
and overturned because the driver fell asleep.

The driver, 31-year-old Aaron Grear of Aldan, Pa., was charged with reckless driving. He was wearing his seatbelt and did not suffer any injuries.

Due to heavy mud and the weight of the Freightliner, multiple tow trucks
were called in to help upright the vehicle. The tractor-trailer was
carrying vegetable oil, and crews worked carefully for hours, so as not
to spill any oil onto the already slick roads.

It's unclear how long Grear
was actually on the road, but the longer you're awake, the less alert you are
behind the wheel.  

Jannet Brooking with Drive Smart Virginia says up to 30
percent of all crashes happen due to drowsy driving.

In 2012, AAA says more
than 3,000 accidents were caused by tired drivers, but they're also some of the
most avoidable accidents.

“It's very unfortunate
because the crash could've been avoided,” she says.

Federal law requires that
all commercial truck drivers be on the road no more than 11 hours a day and
take at least one break.

Many trucking companies
require even more rest.

A recent study shows that
if you are awake for 24 hours, you'd be able to pay as much attention as you
would if you blew a point 1.0 on a breathalyzer.

Brooking says it's a good
idea to stay off the road during times you're usually sleeping – especially
between midnight and 6 a.m.


Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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