As a Missouri tractor-trailer accident attorney, I was interested to read that a truck driver will face criminal charges in an accident that took the lives of three people near Bonne Terre. As KMOV reported Jan. 20, Robert Carmona of New York, 37, faces three counts of involuntary manslaughter as well as charges of driving without a valid license. Carmona failed to stop for a car ahead of him that was stopped at the intersection of Berry Road and Highway 67 in Berry. The Jan. 20 crash killed Frank Weber, 56, of De Soto; and Rachel Sharp, 18, and Aaron Weber, 20, both of Bonne Terre. Carmona was not harmed.
Sharp was the younger Weber’s girlfriend and was four months pregnant at the time of the crash. The three victims were stopped on Highway 67 at around 1:30 p.m. the day of the crash, in a Ford Crown Victoria. None of them were wearing seat belts. Carmona apparently failed to stop for the car as his big rig reached the intersection and rear-ended it. The crash pushed both vehicles off the side of the road and dragged the car several hundred feet. All three of its occupants were pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Francois County coroner. Carmona was not hurt. It was unclear why he failed to stop, but authorities said he was driving with a suspended license. Another report said his license had been suspended for stealing motor fuel.
It always interests me, as a St. Louis semi truck accident lawyer, to learn whether and why truckers have faced disciplinary action. Truck drivers are in charge of multi-ton vehicles that can do a whole lot of damage, as this case unfortunately shows. For that reason, they are held to higher standards than ordinary drivers, including higher standards of conduct for things like driving under the influence. It’s not clear whether the suspended license is enough to justify the charges against Carmona, but prosecutors in the area clearly believe they can win an involuntary manslaughter case against him, suggesting that the facts are on their side. If Carmona was working for a trucking company at the time, that company may also be legally liable for allowing him to go on the road with a suspended commercial driver’s license.
Truck drivers are statistically safe drivers — but when they and their employers make mistakes, they can kill or permanently disable the innocent people around them. At Carey, Danis & Lowe, we focus our practice on helping victims of serious trucking accidents hold truckers and trucking companies legally liable for causing those accidents. A serious accident is a catastrophe for an ordinary person, but for trucking companies, it is part of doing business and a potential financial headache. That’s why victims of bad trucking accidents should be very, very careful in dealing with a trucking company or its insurance company right after a crash. If a representative offers you a small amount of money or tries to get you to sign something, you should politely decline and call our southern Illinois 18-wheeler accident attorneys right away to protect your rights.
If you or someone you love was in a serious commercial trucking accident caused by that driver’s bad decisions, Carey, Danis & Lowe can help. To set up a free, confidential evaluation of your case, contact us through our website or call us toll-free at 1-877-678-3400.