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Teen driver of big rig involved in fatal motor vehicle accident

In order to drive a commercial vehicle in Michigan -- semis, tractor-trailers or 18-wheelers -- drivers must complete extra driver safety education and training. This is because the physics of how to maneuver such heavy vehicles is very different from that of other types of motor vehicles.

Sadly, a tragic fatal motor vehicle accident that took the lives of five people illustrates why Michigan and so many states have these strict licensing requirements in place.

Here, the driver was only 17-years-old but was responsible for driving a tractor-trailer that had been redesigned as a recreational vehicle. This apparently was legal in his home state under a loophole for family RVs, even though the so-called recreational vehicle was actually a 57,000-pound rig carrying a total of 18 family members and friends.

The group of people in the RV were traveling across the country and returning home from a motor cross race. Half of the trailer had been converted into living space, while the rear portion housed motorcycles and other equipment.

For reasons currently unknown, the teenager somehow lost control of the RV, causing the cab and trailer to break through a guardrail and down into a ravine.

Five people ranging in age from 2 to 30 lost their lives from the impact of the truck wreck. Many others remain hospitalized as a result of the serious personal injuries they sustained in the crash.

This accident is currently under investigation. However, it is extremely likely that the teen's inexperience and lack of training on how to drive a vehicle of this size were contributing factors to this fatal motor vehicle accident.

Source: Pioneer Press, "Loophole allowed Jordan teen to drive big RV involved in deadly Kansas wreck," Steve Karnowski, March 4, 2012

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