A tragic trucking accident that occurred on January 31 on I-75 in Detroit resulted in the deaths of a 7 and 9 year old brother and sister. Attorneys for the family of the deceased children are now saying they believe the truck’s condition and driver error were contributing factors in the accident. They also assert that had these not been factors, the accident could have been avoided.
Reportedly, four of the semi trailer’s eight axles had inoperable brakes and the brakes on two other axles were out of adjustment. One attorney stated, “This vehicle had considerably less than half of the braking capability that was necessary to be able to stop that vehicle.”
Lt. Michael Shaw of the Michigan State Police stated that the cause had yet to be determined and the police investigation is ongoing. Reportedly, the police are waiting for evidence from the crime lab, though what that evidence is, exactly, has not been disclosed.
According to police, 12 separate crashes involving 43 vehicles occurred along I-75 following snow squalls that resulted in near zero visibility. Shaw went on to state: “I think a lot of people assume that weather can be the cause of a crash and that’s not true. Because there were a lot of other vehicles that made it through that area — even though the weather was bad. You can say that weather was a contributing circumstance to a crash, but you can’t say that’s the reason why a crash occurred.”
While the semi driver has not been named, attorneys stated that his driving history for the last few years shows two safety violations for driving too close to be able to stop under the circumstances and three safety violations for speeding.
Once the police have concluded their investigation, they have stated that they intend to turn it over to prosecutors who will then determine if charges should be brought. Victims of trucking accidents should never assume that weather was the cause of an accident. In many cases, while weather was a contributing factor, driver error or improper vehicle maintenance was a more direct cause and victims may be entitled to financial compensation.