On Jan. 13, 2014, a man accused of falling asleep while operating a tractor-trailer on Interstate 78 reportedly struck a 2000 Ford Taurus from behind, and the vehicles caught fire. The driver of the truck sustained no injuries, according to authorities, but the driver of the Taurus, a 65-year-old male, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
State police indicated that the truck driver admitted to struggling to stay awake prior to the crash. He was apparently listening to loud music, and truck window was down. The truck driver faces a number of charges, including vehicular homicide, the reckless endangerment of another person, involuntary manslaughter, and traffic violations.
The 56-year-old driver of the tractor-trailer appeared in court 50 minutes late on March 2. He was apparently under the influence of medication and seemed confused, said reports. The defense attorney requested additional time for the defendant to be adequately composed for court participation. The accused is not contesting the charges and may face time in prison.
A truck accident that involves a tractor-trailer poses a significant risk for causing serious harm to other motorists. Due to the size of these vehicles, accident victims may sustain fatal injuries. Despite regulations regarding a limit to the number of hours a trucker can stay behind the wheel, investigations of tractor-trailer accidents often reveal that the truck driver was driving while fatigued. If the negligent behavior of a trucker caused a victim’s death, legal options may be available to the family. A personal injury lawyer might be helpful in determining if the family of a victim could benefit from a wrongful death claim. Seeking compensation could result in financial recovery for medical expenses and funeral costs.
Source: Lehigh Valley Live, “Truck driver in fatal Williams Township crash shows up to court unfit for trial,” Tom Shortell, March 2, 2015