3:19 PM PDT, September 27, 2021
America’s truckers have played a huge role in getting goods across the country, but has the pressure to keep store shelves stocked led to danger on the roads? Every day, there are more than 5,500 accidents involving big trucks that lead to injury or even death.
Inside Edition spoke to three families from Florida who all share a terrible connection – their loved ones were victims who died in devastating truck crashes.
Dexter Culclager lost his wife and three children in a fiery crash when a truck slammed into their disabled SUV.
“It’s been devastating, completely devastating,” Culclager said.
Tragically, he says he listened to their dying screams as the vehicle was engulfed in flames.
“I just remember my daughter saying there’s a big truck coming. It was just horrific. It was like nothing I could ever imagine,” Culclager said.
The mother of 19-year-old Nadia Anderson, who was rear-ended by a trailer-tractor in rush hour traffic, says she was told Nadia was “killed instantly” in the crash.
“The semi didn’t even hit his brakes. He was distracted and ran right into her,” her mom said.
And just last January, Relia Warren was driving down the highway with her son Eli when a truck swerved across the median and slammed into her minivan.
“The driver of the truck was distracted with his phone,” Warren said.
Warren was badly injured, and young Eli didn’t survive.
“It destroys your life,” his dad said.
Experts say a person is killed or seriously injured in an accident caused by a semi truck about every 15 minutes.
Inside Edition recently hit the highway with Indiana state trooper Anthony Emery, who said speeding, along with following too close and distracted driving, are the biggest issues.
Right away, his radar caught truck drivers putting the pedal to the medal. He pulled over big rig after big rig.
One trucker was clocked at going 68 mph in a 55 mph zone. He was given a warning and agreed it was dangerous to be going that fast, adding that he was “just trying to run with the flow of traffic.”
Another trucker who was given a warning for speeding told Inside Edition, “I wasn’t paying any attention. I was on my GPS and he said I was going faster than I thought I was.”
A third trucker was stopped and given a warning for driving while using his phone.
Attorney Joe Camerlengo represents the grieving families and says the drivers behind the wheels of those three trucks were cited for careless driving. Today, the families say they just want to see the roads become a safer place for all.
“The good truck drivers will tell you, ‘I drive like every car around me has my wife and kids in it,’” Camerlengo said.
The American Trucking Association said in a statement they are “committed to reducing the number of crashes on our highways” by properly training and educating truck drivers.