The Johnson Law Firm, LLC

Driver fatigue may have caused fatality in truck accident

A tractor-trailer driver was recently charged after allegedly causing the death of a 65-year-old motorist on a Missouri road. The prosecutor's offices reported that it was determined that the truck driver had been driving in excess of the allowed 70 hours during the eight days prior to the six-vehicle accident. This is a violation of the laws for commercial vehicles related to driver fatigue.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that early-evening northbound traffic slowed down on Interstate 29 when the tractor-trailer approached. The accident investigators determined that the truck driver should have been able to see the stalled traffic from about half a mile away, giving him ample time to slow down and avoid a collision. He is accused of being inattentive and failing to maintain a safe following distance.

Authorities said that the impact of the crash when the truck struck the first car was enough to propel the smaller vehicle off the road. The truck driver apparently failed to regain control of his vehicle, and he smashed into four other cars. The driver of the first car was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries. None of the occupants of the other cars were reported to have suffered serious injuries, and the injuries of the truck driver were said to be moderate.

Missouri families who have to face the future without a loved one because of an accident that was caused by driver fatigue may want to explore the possibilities of seeking financial relief. With sufficient evidence of negligence, the surviving family may choose to pursue a wrongful death claim in a civil court against the driver and the driver's employer. Successful presentation may lead to restitution of medical expenses, end-of-life costs and other financial losses brought about by the tragic accident.

Source:, "Truck driver charged in death of motorist", Valerie Verkamp, Nov. 12, 2014

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