A trucker involved in an accident with another semi truck is blaming his loss of control on a dropped cigarette, which took his attention away from the road.
The accident happened on Tuesday, October 24th at around 11:00 a.m. in Hammond, Indiana.
Indiana State Police say that 26-year-old truck driver Raji Salem was traveling along eastbound Interstate 80/94 near mile marker 5 hauling metal racks in a 2006 Volvo when he dropped his cigarette inside of his cab. Salem then began searching for the dropped cigarette, taking his attention away from the road and causing him to lose control, sending the rig off the right side of the highway and onto the shoulder, where it crashed into a 2017 Freightliner hauling wine stopped on the side of the road.
A tow truck driver was underneath the Freightliner hooking it up to his tow truck at the time of the impact but was miraculously unhurt. No other injuries were reported.
The accident forced the closure of two right lanes on eastbound Interstate 80/94 for around three and a half hours as crews worked to clear the spilled metal racks from the roadway, as well as tow the two wrecked trucks, reported The News Dispatch.
Salem was issued a citation for unsafe lane movement, while the 44-year-old Freightliner driver, Chad Weber, was cited for failing to place hazard/warning devices around the rig when he pulled over onto the shoulder.