Recently, BlueRidgeNow.com reported the story of a woman who lost her son in a horrific semi-truck accident and is now seeking justice against those responsible. The accident, which occurred on October 24, claimed five lives after an 18-wheeler semi truck smashed into nine cars on Interstate 26 in North Carolina. The semi-driver had failed to reduce speed after a prior accident had caused traffic to slow down. Witnesses to the accident later noted that the driver of the semi was seen previously driving erratically.
It was also later discovered that the trucking company that employed the driver had been previously written up for major violations during a safety audit. The company passed the audit on the promise to improve their procedures. The audit recommended that the company’s drivers be qualified, both fully and properly, before operating any semi-truck. A safety audit was also completed two weeks after the fatal crash, this time resulting in a total of 14 violations.
During the second audit, it was discovered that the company committed many fraudulent claims in their records. These claims ranged from making a false entry on a medical examiner’s certificate, failing to medically examine drivers, in addition to many other falsified records. The company’s driver is currently being charged with five counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of assault causing severe bodily injury, and having false records.
The accident victim’s mother is currently filing suit against the Federal Motor Safety Administration for $1 million dollars. In addition, she is seeking to have a panel created to review truck safety policies in order to ensure that they are enforced, as well as, strengthened. Luckily, there is currently a bill going through Congress, titled the Commercial Motor Vehicle Advanced Technology Tax Act of 2011, which provides a tax credit of up to 50% for those commercial trucking companies that install high tech safety systems. These safety systems include brake, collision, and vehicle stability warning systems.
Our Chicago accident attorneys send their deepest condolences to those affected by such a devastating accident. Semi truck driver negligence should never be tolerated and commercial trucking companies need to develop more critical guidelines that regulate their drivers. Senseless fatal accidents that affect you or your loved ones can be avoided if proper safety precautions are followed.