I frequently write here about the duties of truck drivers, and their trucking companies to avoid situations likely to lead to a serious semi truck crash. Ordinary drivers might choose to stay home if the weather impairs their ability to see the road, or creates dangerous ice. But truck drivers frequently don’t do that, even though their vehicles are very large and very dangerous in a crash. That’s because truckers and their trucking companies are penalized financially for late deliveries. As a result, trucking companies may actually pressure their drivers to do things they know aren’t safe, like skip rest breaks or drive in icy weather. According to the St. Joseph News-Press, icy road conditions are blamed for a crash outside Kansas City that injured one driver seriously.
The newspaper reported that the accident started when a tractor-trailer driven by Jeoffrey Jones of Kansas City jackknifed on the icy northbound lanes of Interstate 29. A minivan driver, James Jones, tried to avoid the crashed truck by slowing down and changing lanes, but ended up striking the rear of a Ford Taurus driven by Nicole Seier. James Jones then slid north and ended up hitting the tractor-trailer. Some time later, after tow trucks had arrived, another tractor-trailer driven by David Hays appeared on the scene and hit the minivan after it was already connected to a tow truck. Hays then hit the side of the downed tractor-trailer. He was wearing a seat belt, but unfortunately still sustained serious injuries and had to be taken to the hospital. Work crews needed more than four hours to clear the accident.
It’s especially interesting to me that Hays struck the other vehicles after significant time had passed. The article doesn’t specify whether Hays failed to slow for traffic, but it’s difficult to imagine how he could have failed to see a jackknifed semi truck unless he wasn’t paying close attention. And unfortunately, truck drivers who don’t pay close enough attention to stopped traffic can cause serious damage to the drivers in front of them. A trucker who failed to stop for traffic caused a terrible St. Louis tractor-trailer accident in 2008, when he literally plowed into stopped traffic. This resulted in three deaths and 14 injuries, including severe, permanent brain damage to one man. That driver ultimately pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter; authorities said he was looking at his cell phone. In another case, authorities found no reason why a trucker in Oklahoma failed to stop, killing 10 people.
If your family has suffered a loss or a catastrophic injury because of this kind of negligence, don’t wait to call Carey, Danis & Lowe for a free consultation. After a catastrophic accident, many families suffer not only from physical injuries or the loss of a loved one, but also from financial problems. If the accident keeps a breadwinner out of work, the family can suffer serious financial strain, particularly once medical and repair bills start rolling in. To make matters worse, trucking companies and their insurance companies sometimes use underhanded tactics to reduce their financial liability, asking upset families to sign a form or accept a small payment right away. Never sign anything from an insurance company before you speak to one of our Missouri 18-wheeler accident attorneys about what’s in your best interests.
Carey, Danis & Lowe represents clients who have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one because of a catastrophic trucking accident. To learn more or tell us your story, call us toll-free at 1-877-678-3400 or send us a message online.
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