2 Mothers, 4 Children dead after a semi-truck rear-ended their minivan

Update: On Tuesday around 3:30am a minivan carrying two families was rear-ended by a semi-truck on the 5 freeway in Gorman. The van had eight people inside, six of those eight have passed away, and the survivors were airlifted to a nearby hospital. The van was in a small accident a few minutes prior to the incident, causing them to pull off onto the shoulder the of the highway. While parked on the shoulder, a semi-truck rear ended the van, pushing it into the embankment. Once the truck collided with the van, it immediately burst into flames. It is yet to be known whether the truck driver suffered any injuries.


Operating a semi-truck, large truck, or any other commercial motor vehicle requires specialized knowledge that goes past operating a normal motor vehicle.  In the United States, it is a Federal law that all truck drivers must have special licensing that allows them to operate these types of vehicles. All truck drives must obtain a Commercial Drivers License or CDL. A commercial vehicle is one that:

Have gross vehicle weight rating (commonly known as GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more.

Are combination vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more.

Tows another motor vehicle with a GVWR of 10,001 lbs.  or more.

Tow more than one vehicle or a trailer bus.

Has three or more axles (excludes three axle vehicles weighing 6,000 pounds or less gross).

Is intended, used, or sustained to hold more than 10 passengers counting the driver (hire or profit) or is used by any nonprofit organization or assembly.

Necessitates hazardous material placards or is carrying material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR part 73.*

Transports hazardous wastes (Health and Safety Code §§25115 and 25117).

Note: Drivers carrying Hazardous Material require a HazMat endorsement in addition to a CDL


In many car/truck accidents, figuring out who is at fault is not plain and simple. There are multiple situations in which both parties involved can be at fault.

In California, only the negligent party is responsible for the injuries that are caused by truck accidents. A person acts negligently when he or she fails to act in a manner that is expected of a reasonably wise person acting under similar circumstances. California law, specifically the Tort law, explains what negligence entails:

  • A party was careless, and that carelessness was the direct and proximate cause of the car crash
  • The car crash caused some sort of physical or property damage
  • The careless party is responsible for the damages

Unlike most accidents, Truck accidents require expertise and experience as several other variables are involved, such as the employer and the driver’s skill.


When it comes to a truck accident, there are nuances that differentiate a car from a truck accident due to the regulations and laws. Here, at Normandie Law Firm, we understand these specific laws and regulations that all truck drivers are expected to follow. We understand and look at all aspects of the accident, ensuring that our clients get the recompense they deserve. This accident is horrific and heartbreaking. Our condolences go out to everyone affected and more importantly the families that were involved in this tragic incident. We at strive to obtain justice for everyone and will not rest until our clients receive fair compensation.






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