Four people from died after an 18 wheeler lost control, crossed the median and slammed head on into their pickup, Louisiana State Police said.
The 18-wheeler, marked with the company name Texas International Express, was traveling north about 5 miles north of Pearl River when its front left tire blew out, said Trooper Nick Manale, spokesman for State Police, U.S, lost control of the rig, and the tractor-trailer rumbled across the median and struck the southbound pickup nearly head-on, police said. After impact, the pickup and 18-wheeler slid off the highway, coming to a halt in the treeline on the west side of the interstate, Manale said.
Troopers specializing in vehicle inspection were brought in to determine whether the 18-wheeler had all of the required equipment and whether that equipment was properly installed, police said. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require an 18-wheeler driver to perform a pre-trip inspection and a end of the day report. A driver cannot operate a commercial motor vehicle until he has inspected his equipment including the tires for good working order.
§392.7 Equipment, inspection and use.
No commercial motor vehicle shall be driven unless the driver is satisfied that the following parts and accessories are in good working order, nor shall any driver fail to use or make use of such parts and accessories when and as needed:
- Service brakes, including trailer brake connections.
- Parking (hand) brake.
- Steering mechanism.
- Lighting devices and reflectors.
- Windshield wiper or wipers.
- Rear-vision mirror or mirrors.
- Coupling devices.