February 21, 2012

Truck Driver Pleads Guilty for Fatal Crash

by Levin & Perconti

Vindy.com recently released a news report detailing the criminal charges a truck driver faces for his role in a fatal trucking accident that resulted in the fatalities of three Marine recruits. A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm learned that the 46 year-old semi truck driver has pleaded guilty to ten charges, including aggravated vehicular homicide, and will face a maximum sentence of up to 31 years in prison.

The fatal accident in question transpired on March 31, 2010 when a passenger vehicle containing the Marine recruits – two 19 year-olds and a 21 year-old – was stopped at a traffic light. According to the news report, the defendant truck driver struck the rear end of the recruits’ car and continued to travel an additional 581 feet. Ultimately, the semi truck struck a total of six vehicles, causing the deaths of the three recruits and injuring nine others.

In a shocking crash investigation, our Chicago truck accident attorneys learned that the semi truck driver never applied his brakes as he collided into all six vehicles. A dashboard video camera in the defendant’s semi truck showed that the driver did not react in any way as the large commercial vehicle collided into the initial vehicle carrying the recruits. A subsequent toxicology report revealed that the semi truck driver had an amount of Valium and Nordiazepam in his system that would cause the body significant “mental confusion.”

The chief forensic toxicologist on the case reviewed the dashboard video and confirmed that prior to the accident, the defendant appeared to stare in a hypnotized way – a classic effect of having those particular types of drug in his system. The semi truck driver did not have a prescription for either of the drugs. The article reveals that the semi truck driver was convicted in 1989 of drug trafficking and drug abuse. Additionally, the truck driver was also convicted of drunken driving three times – in 2000, 1992, as well as, 1987.

The semi truck driver will face a sentencing hearing in approximately five weeks. The amount of time of the defendant’s sentence will hinder on a further investigation of the driver’s background and prior criminal history. Our Chicago trucking accident attorneys learned that for three of the defendant’s charges carry a mandatory prison sentence. As a result of the devastating accident, numerous civil lawsuits have been filed against the truck driver, as well as, his trucking carrier.