Semi Truck Slams Into Diner in Western Missouri, Killing One and Seriously Injuring Two

By October 26, 2012 Trucking Accidents

As a Missouri semi truck accident lawyer, I was surprised to read about an accident in western Missouri that killed a man who was sitting in a diner’s window seat. According to the Nevada Daily Mail, a tractor-trailer slammed into the Quick Dine restaurant in Nevada, Missouri on the evening of Oct. 19. The truck’s driver was attempting to avoid hitting a car that pulled into his path, but the swerve sent the truck into the front of the Quick Dine. The crash left both drivers and one passenger unhurt, but it killed Joseph Cole, 54, a regular at the restaurant. The crash also left two Quick Dine customers in serious enough condition that they were airlifted to a hospital in Joplin; another was hospitalized in Nevada with moderate injuries. The restaurant appeared to be destroyed.
According to the article, trucker Dan Coffman of Nevada, Mo., was on U.S. 71 when an Oldsmobile pulled out of a stop sign in front of the truck. Coffman hit his brakes hard, honked his horn and swerved in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid the front passenger side of the car. In addition to hitting the car, the truck’s swerve brought it into the northeast corner wall of the restaurant. In addition to killing Cole, who was pronounced dead at the scene, the crash seriously injured John Becker of Nevada and Roger Berning of El Dorado Springs, and left Pamela Hoover of Nevada with moderate injuries. Numerous other diners refused medical attention at the scene or said they would see a doctor later for minor injuries. The crash also caused a natural gas leak, causing authorities to shoo away onlookers. The driver of the car, Patrick Crews of Nevada, said he and his passenger, Josh Eaton of Nevada, never saw the truck until it was too late.
The article doesn’t say whether the Missouri Highway Patrol has issued any tickets or made arrests, but as a St. Louis tractor-trailer accident attorney, I think this is a good example of the devastating effects of a trucking accident. The truck hitting this restaurant destroyed the building and seriously hurt three people, one fatally. If a large truck can do that to a building, it’s not hard to imagine what it might do to a passenger car. In this case, the article suggests that the Oldsmobile’s driver was at fault (though there’s no official ruling), but when truck drivers are at fault for this kind of devastating crash, they are legally liable for the injuries and damage they cause. Their trucking companies may also be liable, depending on whether the trucking company encouraged or knowingly permitted a dangerous driver or a dangerous situation. As a southern Illinois 18-wheeler accident lawyer, I help victims in this situation sue for the financial compensation they need to heal and move on.


If you or someone you love suffered a serious injury because of a trucker’s or trucking company’s carelessness, Carey, Danis & Lowe can help. For a free, confidential case evaluation, send us an email or call 1-877-678-3400 today.
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