Semi trucks, big rigs, tractor trailers; regardless of what you call these vehicles, they are big and potentially dangerous. In cases where a car or small personal vehicle is involved in an accident with a large commercial vehicle, serious and even fatal injuries often result.
Family members and colleagues of a 28-year-old police officer, who was killed when a semi barreled into the back of his squad car, are seeking answers and justice. The fatal truck accident occurred when a 26-year-old novice truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel of his truck and crashed into the back of the police officer’s squad car.
While the truck driver currently faces felony charges and up to three years in prison, loved ones of the deceased insist the proposed punishment doesn't fit the crime. The 26-year-old truck driver is accused of knowingly driving while fatigued. He also admits to doctoring log records related to the number of hours he worked and that he was in violation of federal commercial trucking laws at the time the fatal accident occurred.
When the accident occurred, the 26-year-old truck driver had only roughly six months of experience as a commercial trucker. While his employer expressed sympathy to the family of the police officer who was killed, the trucking company has denied any wrongdoing and has since fired the 26-year-old driver.
Regardless of how the criminal case in this matter plays out, it's likely that family members will choose to pursue civil action in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. Taking this type of legal action can help loved ones find answers to lingering questions as well as find closure. Additionally, compensation is often awarded to family members related to lost wages, medical expenses and funeral costs.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Troopers pack hearing on trucker charged in fatal crash," Jonathan Bullington, Lisa Black and Andy Grimm, Nov. 13, 2013