Truck Rear-Ends Vehicle Pushing Disabled Car on St. Louis Highway, Killing One

By January 4, 2013 July 18th, 2019 Trucking Accidents

As a St. Louis trucking accident attorney, I was disappointed to read about an accident that killed a man who was out on the highway trying to help a stranded driver. According to the Alton Telegraph, 48-year-old Talbert Brooks was using his car to push a malfunctioning car on Interstate 270, near McDonnell Boulevard in the city of Hazelwood. Both vehicles were rear-ended by a semi truck, and the crashed killed Brooks at the scene. Thomas was uninjured, as was the truck’s driver, Aaron Cook of West Alton, Mo. The crash and the investigation created a traffic jam on northbound 270 for several hours after the Friday morning accident.
Reports suggest that Thomas and Brooks knew each other. Thomas’s 1998 Plymouth Neon developed mechanical problems on the morning of Dec. 28. Brooks was using his 2002 Pontiac Grand Am to push the Neon forward on the highway, in the second lane from the center (in an area with three or four lanes). The Missouri Highway Patrol report said Cook attempted to avoid hitting the Grand Am, but could not. His tractor-trailer hit the rear of both the Grand Am and the Neon. Despite wearing a seatbelt, Brooks was killed. Cook and Thomas were not injured; the report did not specify whether Thomas was wearing a seatbelt. EMS responders came from Florissant to help, but pronounced Brooks dead at the scene. Early in the case, troopers stressed that they were not assessing blame to the trucker while the investigation continued.
Fault in rear-end accidents is almost always attributed to the driver in the rear, a rule that I’ve come to know well in my work as a Missouri semi truck accident lawyer. For that reason, I wonder if the Missouri Highway Patrol declined to assign blame just because it was early in the case, or because there was another mitigating factor not obvious from the accident report. For example, if the front driver stops suddenly for no apparent reason or is driving erratically, a rear-end crash may be that driver’s fault. If blame is ultimately assigned to the trucker, Brooks’s loved ones may be able to recover damages not only from the driver, but possibly from his trucking company as well. As a rule, employers may be liable for their employees’ actions at work, particularly if the employer tolerated or encouraged an unsafe situation.
Carey, Danis & Lowe represents clients across Missouri and southern Illinois who have suffered a death or severe injury because of a trucker’s or trucking company’s negligence. These accidents are frequently very serious, because large commercial trucks have much more size and weight than the average passenger car or even an SUV or pickup. As a result, truck drivers often walk away from accidents that kill the people in the smaller vehicle–regardless of who was at fault. And of course, very serious or complex injuries are very expensive to treat, further straining a family already dealing with a serious accident. That’s why our southern Illinois tractor-trailer accident attorneys aggressively seek all the compensation our clients are entitled to from an at-fault driver and company.


If you believe your family was hurt by a truck driver’s or trucking company’s negligence, don’t hesitate to call Carey, Danis & Lowe for a free, confidential consultation. You can reach us through our website or call 1-877-678-3400.
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