Many people drive while tired, thinking they can keep themselves awake. This leads to accidents, injuries, and fatalities. The effect multiplies for truckers, who often work extremely long shifts, are sometimes known to fudge their hourly reports to get an extra bit of distance in before resting, and who drive multi-ton vehicles that outclass virtually everything else on the road.
Consider the story of an as yet unnamed trucker and Tennessee Highway Patrol Sergeant Lowell Russell. The driver fell asleep at the wheel of his tractor trailer and struck the vehicle of Sgt. Russell, who was seriously injured and taken to a nearby hospital. The driver has admitted to what happened, stating to THP personnel that he was substantially fatigued and dozed off at the wheel. There was also a passenger in the semi, who was asleep at the time of the accident.
As of Tuesday morning, March 13th, Sgt. Russell remains in serious condition. The driver of the semi is being held and charged with reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, violation of due care, and failure to move over. THP officials conducted a rolling roadblock to reconstruct the scene of the accident, and are inspecting the semi truck carefully in order to determine if there were any maintenance violations or failures that could have contributed to the trucking accident.
THP Colonel Tracy Trott said of the case, “Our troopers put their lives on the line every day to keep citizens safe. It is especially difficult when one of our troopers is injured in the line of duty. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sgt. Lowell Russell and his family during this difficult time. We pray for his recovery and thank him for his service to our state. He is one of Tennessee’s finest. We are also grateful to our fellow law enforcement officers and first responders who were on the scene within minutes of this tragedy.”