In my work as a St. Louis tractor-trailer accident attorney, I’ve represented many families that lost loved ones because of bad decisions by truck drivers. But it’s not often that the driver is already known to have a criminal record. I was saddened to read about one case where the driver did, in an article from USA Today. Leamond Pierce was arrested at his father’s apartment in O’Fallon, Ill., this week after three months on the run from a vehicular homicide charge in Nebraska. According to the article, Pierce rear-ended a car bringing a young family back from posing for holiday pictures in December of 2011. The crash killed two-year-old Aidan Curry and resulted in charges against Pierce on May 31. Pierce was on parole at the time for a 1981 murder, for which he served prison time.
According to the article, Pierce was speeding in the snow when he ran his tractor-trailer into the back of the car of the Curry family. Aidan Curry died at the scene. Pierce also did not have permission to be in Nebraska; he was on parole in Delaware at the time and needed permission to leave that state. But Pierce wasn’t charged with vehicular homicide until May 31, just before the 18-month statute of limitations on the crime would have expired. Shortly afterward, parole and probation officers couldn’t find him, and U.S. Marshals began taking tips on his whereabouts. Marshals went to visit Pierce’s father in O’Fallon and found Pierce there. Pierce ran from the officers, tried to disguise himself and briefly wrestled with them, but was ultimately taken into custody.
The vehicular manslaughter charge is a misdemeanor in Nebraska, carrying a year in prison. But Pierce is likely to also face penalties in Delaware, where he violated his parole at least once by leaving the state. The article said Pierce has a history of parole violations, including some stemming from alleged domestic violence, forging a work document and leaving the country without permission. He spent roughly half of his time out of prison back in jail for these violations, the newspaper said. Pierce will face any new Delaware charges after any Nebraska penalty. Jennifer Brock, Aidan Curry’s mother, said she hopes Pierce’s parole is revoked, calling him a repeat offender who has wasted all of his chances and a lot of resources.
As a Missouri semi truck accident lawyer, I’m pleased that Pierce is no longer driving a large commercial truck. Regardless of his criminal history, speeding in the snow is a dangerous choice. Someone with that kind of bad judgment should not be in charge of a truck whose huge weight and mass can easily hurt or kill innocent people in the surrounding cars. Indeed, families who have lost loved ones to this kind of bad judgment may be able to sue the truck driver responsible for the crash for negligence. Often, the trucking company is also found legally liable—for hiring a bad driver, entrusting him or her with a dangerous machine, or even encouraging bad choices with a strict schedule or orders to falsify logbooks. As a southern Illinois big rig accident attorney, I help my clients narrow down responsibility for serious accidents and ensure they claim all the money they’re entitled to.
If you or someone you love suffered a catastrophic injury in a crash with a negligent truck driver, don’t wait to call Carey, Danis & Lowe for help. For a free consultation, you can reach us through our website or call 1-877-678-3400 today.
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