Regular readers of our St. Louis personal injury blog know that we focus on issues close to home, but we also keep our eye out for matters across the nation that could be important locally.

We recently read of a tractor-trailer crash that involved serious injuries to both the truck driver and a woman driving an SUV. According to a New Jersey newspaper, the 42-year-old woman was driving ahead of the big rig until she slowed and turned right into a supermarket shopping center’s parking lot.

For reasons yet unclear, the 18-wheeler left the roadway, drove across a grassy area and slammed broadside into the woman’s Chevrolet Tahoe. Vernon, New Jersey, police officers have charged the trucker with reckless driving and unsafe lane change.

A police department spokesperson said additional charges might be filed.

Police said it is too early in their investigation to determine a cause of the crash that crushed the SUV and required responders to use an extraction tool to free its driver. She was then flown to a nearby hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Though police have not determined the cause of the truck accident, we know that in similar cases distraction played a pivotal role. Drivers more focused on their phones than traffic can quickly lose control of their vehicles and cause crashes and significant injuries – especially when those drivers are behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler.

If you or a family member has been hurt in a crash involving a commercial vehicle, contact a lawyer experienced in personal injury litigation.