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Truck accident on S.C. highway kills Johnstown, PA couple

It may still be months before South Carolina investigators will learn what happened to cause a five-vehicle accident involving commercial trucks that killed five people, including a 7-month-old and a couple from Johnstown, PA.

Two commercial semi-tractor trailers and three passenger vehicles collided at about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The accident closed I-95 in Florence County, S.C., according to a spokesperson from the S.C. Highway Patrol. The spokesperson told reporters that everyone wants to know how the accident happened, so that the families of the victims will have their questions answered. As such, a "Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team" will have to determine the course of event causing the accident that took place slightly before the northbound exit ramp of mile 170, just about thirty miles from the North Carolina border.

Two of the victims were a 52-year-old and 51-year-old couple from Johnstown who were traveling in their 2011 Jeep Cherokee. They were returning home from visiting parents in Florida. They were trapped under an 8500-gallon commercial tanker that was hauling orange juice. The man from Johnstown was nominated for an Emmy in photojournalism, videography, and filmmaking. He also was a freelancer for WPXI in Pittsburgh.

Other victims include a 34-year-old and 32-year-old couple and their 7-month-old son. The baby was thrown from the vehicle upon impact. The flames that engulfed the vehicles were extinguished quickly, but the victims had to be cut out of their vehicles. The cause of death to all five victims is blunt force trauma to the head or chest, according to the Florence County Coroner.

Tragedies such as this are often avoidable. The difficult part is figuring out why it happened and what could have been done to prevent it. If you have questions about truck accidents, have been injured, or have lost someone in a commercial tractor-trailer accident, please call the Law Offices of Gismondi & Associates today for a free consultation at 888-529-1255 or visit our contact page to leave a brief description of your accident.

Source: Post-Gazette.com, "Investigation into fatal S.C. crash that killed Johnstown couple underway" 25 March 2015

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