The 44 year-old truck driver who was accused of causing the deaths of four elderly women in a devastating semi truck accident last September has been found not guilty by a jury trial. According to a news report posted on DesMoinesRegister.com, the verdict came after a two-day trial which determined whether or not the defendant failed to obey a traffic control device shortly before the fatal collision with the passenger vehicle the victims were traveling in.
The jury found the defendant not guilty despite hearing testimony from three different State Troopers who attested that the traffic light was red when the defendant traveled through the intersection and struck the victim’s automobile. However, the defense called two witnesses who confirmed that the light was indeed green – ultimately causing the jurors to cast doubt on the prosecutor’s argument. In a statement released by one of the jurors, it was revealed that the jury as a whole was unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the semi truck driver traveled through a red light before crashing into the victim’s vehicle.
As previously reported in our Illinois trucking accident blog, this devastatingly fatal accident has spawned numerous wrongful death lawsuits that have been filed by the victim’s family members. One of the lawsuits filed last month accuses the truck driver of “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others using the same roads as the driver’s trucking company.” Additionally, the wrongful death lawsuit asserts that the trucking carrier’s vehicles maintained repeated issues with leaky brake connections, as well as, other maintenance issues.
Our Chicago truck accident attorneys learned that according to court papers, the trucking carrier’s record for vehicle maintenance violations were “worse than 71.4 percent of all federally authorized motor carriers between December 16, 2009, and December 16, 2011. The defendant truck driver also maintained a questionable history that includes nine traffic violations between 1995 and 2003, in addition to, a guilty plea to lascivious acts with a child in 1998.
Although the truck driver did not face criminal penalties for his conduct which caused the fatalities of four women, civil litigation often provides the best route for accident victims and their family to obtain compensation for the severe and life-altering damages sustained as the result of another’s reckless and negligent conduct.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident or have lost a loved one at the hands of a negligent driver, please contact our experienced Illinois truck accident attorneys to see what legal rights and relief may be available to you.