One Killed in Truck Crash
In the early morning hours of August 3, 2016, a semi truck plowed into a broken down semi, injuring the stalled truck’s occupants, seriously injuring the driver of the truck, and killing the passenger who was a juvenile. This synopsis of the case and any potential subsequent legal consequences are based upon the information that was available at the time this post was written. This is an ongoing investigation and new information will surface as it proceeds.
The accident is still under investigation, but police say that the truck veered out of its lane on I-15 at around 4:00 am and slammed into a broken down truck that was parked on the shoulder of the highway.
There are several variables in this incident that can dramatically change the outcome in different ways. Because the investigation is ongoing, there is little in the case that is definitive. There are some details that have not yet been released to the public and there are things that the investigators simply do not yet know. However, there are some serious lessons to be learned.
The Stalled Truck
The truck that was parked on the side of the road, the vehicle that was struck, had a driver and two passengers. The vehicle was disabled. According to law, a commercial vehicle that is disabled must have the proper flares and reflective signs stationed around it so that oncoming traffic is alerted of the potential hazard. Investigators are still trying to determine if these were present and placed correctly around the vehicle.
If the flares and reflective signs were not used, this could place at least a portion of the liability on the driver of the stalled vehicle – or the person responsible for it. This means that they could be held at least partially responsible for the passenger’s injuries, other driver’s injuries and the juvenile’s death. However, there are other potential liabilities and issues in the very complex case.
The Operational Truck
The driver of the second truck, the one that ran into the stalled vehicle, may also be liable for the accident. The police are trying to determine if he fell asleep at the wheel. Not only could this make him at least partially at fault for the accident, it can lead to further investigation regarding DOT regulations regarding the required time drivers must be off duty and how long they are allowed to be behind the wheel. For commercial drivers, this information is recorded in a log book. If the driver’s log book shows infractions or if he is found to have violated the law It could put him at fault.
The driver could lose his commercial license for up to three years if this is his first violation. In the state of Nevada, the driver of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) that causes a fatality by operating the CMV in a negligent manner can be charged with negligent homicide, homicide by motor vehicle, or vehicular manslaughter.
A Juvenile in a Commercial Vehicle
The juvenile in the second truck was killed in the accident. The police are trying to determine the relationship between the juvenile and the driver. The fact that the juvenile was in the truck could be a significant problem for the driver and for the company, if he was driving for a trucking company. Most trucking companies do not allow children to ride in the vehicles; some don’t even allow anyone who is not an employee to ride. Most companies that insure commercial trucks have stipulations that do not allow riders under a certain age, usually 18 or 21.
The parents of the juvenile may file a civil law suit against the driver of the second truck for compensation for damages. The passengers in the disabled vehicle can also file civil suits against the driver. The driver could be the defendant in a civil suit whether or not he is criminally charged or found to be criminally at fault for the accident.
Once the investigation concludes there will be a clearer picture of what happened and who is at fault. There are several directions it can take.
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you need someone on your side who is knowledgeable, experienced, and tenacious. At Eric H. Woods Law Offices we are on your side. Call us today and we will get you the compensation you deserve. We’ll fight for you.