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Texting believed to be cause of deadly truck accident

An accident involving three tractor-trailers and an SUV that killed two people in May 2013 will be the subject of a trial in a Pennsylvania courtroom later this year. The driver of one of the trucks has been charged with several criminal offenses, one of which involved an excessive number of texts found on his phone in the hours preceding the truck accident

Investigators say that the driver of the truck that allegedly started the chain reaction had sent an average of one text every 49 seconds during the six hours between the beginning of his shift at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the time of the accident. A total of 472 texts were found on his phone during that span of time. The final text was sent by the driver approximately one minute and a half before the accident occurred.

A married couple died as a result of the accident. The wife died at the scene and her husband died two days later from his injuries. The cause of death for both was found to be blunt force injury from the impact of the accident.

The truck driven by the driver charged in the deaths of the couple struck the rear of their SUV, forcing it underneath the truck in front of it. That truck then hit another tractor-trailer in front of it.

A Pennsylvania police officer, specializing in reconstructing accidents, has ruled out speed and mechanical failure as causes. He then looked to distracted driving as a cause. After reviewing the truck driver’s phone records, the charges were brought against him.

Texting while driving has become a deadly weapon in this country. Any driver should avoid such a distraction, but drivers of trucks that are substantially larger than other vehicles on the road should be especially cautious of distractions. Anyone who has been injured or who has lost a loved one on Pennsylvania roads as a result of texting or other driving distractions in a truck accident should consider consulting an attorney with experience in similar cases to determine whether any compensation may be recovered.

Source: The Sentinel, “Tractor-trailer driver in crash that killed two headed to trial,” Andrew Carr, Feb. 19, 2014

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Gregory R. Gifford
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