FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2013-01-22
Dump Truck Driver in Prison After Killing Four Motorcyclists in Crash
Commercial vehicles are often larger and heavier than the passenger vehicles, motorcycles and other vehicles with which they share the roads. When large trucks are involved in accidents with smaller vehicles, they are more likely to cause severe injuries or death for motorists in smaller vehicles. In one recent case, the driver of a dump truck was convicted on felony criminal charges after a commercial vehicle accident that killed four motorcyclists and injured five others.
Driver Said Brakes Failed; Police Said Driver Had Methamphetamines in His System
The accident happened in 2010 when a group of motorcyclists was stopped at a traffic light in north Phoenix. The dump truck driver plowed his 12-ton truck into the motorcyclists. Toxicology tests showed the driver had methamphetamine in his system. The driver’s attorney said the driver had taken diet pills and that the brakes were not working well on the truck.
In 2012, jurors convicted the driver of 13 counts, including manslaughter, aggravated assault and endangerment. A judge sentenced him to 26 years in prison. After sentencing, a victim who received a severe head injury and whose friends were killed said he had overcome enough hurdles and that it was time to move on.
Over 10 Percent of Deaths from Car Accidents Involved Large Trucks
Commercial vehicle drivers like the dump truck driver are supposed to receive training and certifications that should help reduce the likelihood of accidents. Still, negligently driven or maintained trucks lead to devastating injuries, deaths and property damage, as the 2010 dump truck accident in Phoenix shows.
Of the 42,642 people killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2006, 4,995 of them were in accidents involving large trucks, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data shows. The figures do not show how many accidents were caused by trucks. Truck accidents caused $91,112 in damages between 2001 and 2003, when adjusted to 2005 inflation levels.
Choose an Experienced Lawyer to Handle Your Personal Injury Case
Serious injuries, expensive damages and the loss of life are a very real possibility in collisions involving large commercial vehicles or buses. Large trucking companies often hire lawyers and work with their insurance company representatives to protect their businesses when accidents occur.
The time immediately following an accident can seem confusing and intimidating, especially for families unaccustomed to dealing with lawyers, insurance companies and others who may be working for large companies and protecting the interests of trucking organizations. People who are injured or have lost loved ones in semi-truck accidents or commercial vehicle accidents seek the experience of an attorney who understands the laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry and knows how to deal with such situations.