A truck driver  was pumping fuel into his tractor trailer rig  yesterday at Benton, NY, when the passenger side caught fire. He suffered severe burns to his head, face, neck, chest and arms. The news story caught my eye for these reasons:

  • He was flown to Strong Memorial Hospital at Rochester, NY.  While I am in Atlanta, my daughter attends the Rochester Institute of Technology and has been treated at Strong Memorial.
  • Most of my law practice focuses on tractor trailer wrecks, including representation of truck drivers who are injured.
  • I am all too personally  familiar with the surreal pain of severe burn injuries.  This truck driver and his family are unlikely to be prepared by anything in life for that experience.  No amount of morphine is adequate. But this too shall pass, that which does not kill us makes us stronger, and the mind is virtually incapable of remembering the pain itself.

According to media reports, the case is under investigation.  I am interested to learn whether there was a malfunction of the gas station’s fuel pump that led to a spill, and what caused ignition of diesel fuel which normally is less volatile than gasoline.