Tracy Morgan and others were seriously injured and another man was tragically killed when a Wal-Mart truck driver rammed into the back of their limousine. Fortunately Tracy and his assistant have been upgraded from their initial critical condition diagnoses, although another man clings to life.After the crash, reports shockingly revealed that the driver had not slept for at least 24 hours before the crash.
Now, to make matters worse, the National Transportation Safety Board just released a report that showed that the Wal-Mart employee was driving 65 mph — the maximum allowed by the tractor’s speed governor — in a 45 mph zone. The data was downloaded from the tractor’s electronic control module or “black box.”
The limousine carrying Morgan and his entourage was heading north on the New Jersey Turnpike when construction closed two lanes of traffic. Warning signs were easily visible.
Prosecutors plan to charge the truck driver with vehicular homicide and assault by automobile.
Why was this truck driver on the road? And how many others are out there just like him?
According to a report by CNN, earlier this week the Wal-Mart employee who was driving the truck plead not guilty to the charges, claiming that he did not break any law. He has been released from custody after posting a $50,000 bond.
Investigators are probing his whereabouts before the fatal crash. It is not clear if he violated federal rules that limit truck drivers to working 14 hours a day, with up to 11 hours driving.
Federal Regulations Prevent Truck Drivers From Driving While Drowsy
Because semi-trucks travel across state lines and operate in interstate commerce, the federal government is permitted to regulate the industry. One of the areas in which truck drivers are heavily regulated is the requirement that they get a certain amount of sleep per trip. I have seen that drowsy driving is one of the leading causes of collisions caused by 18 wheeler drivers. Truck drivers must comply with various sleep requirements including one that requires no truck driver stay on the road more than 11 out of any 14 hour period. There are also regulations that require truck drivers take long breaks in between long-haul trips. But truckers are usually paid by the mile and must keep moving.
When a truck driver fails to abide by these regulations, that is evidence of the truck driver’s negligence. The regulations are there for the safety of the general public. By disregarding the regulations the truck driver is putting his or her own desires to make money over the safety of surrounding motorists.
Have You Been Injured in a Texas Truck Accident?
The laws regulating truck drivers apply across the nation, whether the driver is in New Jersey or Texas. In either case, truck driver must get the required amount of rest while on the road. Failure to do this may result in liability for any accident caused while the truck driver is sleep deprived. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Texas semi-truck accident, you should speak with an experienced Fort Worth truck accident attorney as soon as possible. It may be that the driver responsible for your accident was sleep deprived at the time, and you may be entitled to substantial monetary damages to compensate you for your medical expenses, lost wages, disfigurement, impairment, and pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the collision.
To learn more, contact the Law Offices of William K. Berenson at 817-885-8000, or contact the firm online.
Actor Critically Injured In Crash With Wal-Mart Truck, June 9, 2014.
North Dallas Crash: 18 Wheeler Explodes, May 21, 2014.