Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Truck driver who caused fatal crash was perusing Facebook

We often write about the dangers of distracted driving, as well as the dangers posed by giant tractor-trailers. It should come as no surprise, then, that together these hazards make for a deadly combination.

Distracted truck drivers seem to be everywhere, and the stories of truck accidents caused by distraction are harrowing. According to a recent news report, investigators have determined that a fatal truck accident from last May occurred because the truck driver was looking at Facebook on his phone moments before he plowed into a group of fire trucks and police cars.

The crash happened May 6 on a stretch of Interstate 8 in Arizona. The emergency crew was responding to a roadside accident at the time and had just finished loading victims into an ambulance. One police officer at the scene saw the fuel tanker truck speeding toward them and reportedly waved his arms frantically to get the driver's attention. He finally had to jump out of the truck's path as it collided with the parked vehicles.

A public safety officer was killed in the crash. The subsequent investigation revealed video footage of the truck driver taken by a dash-mounted camera. The view of the driver is partially obstructed by the man's wallet, which he allegedly placed in front of the camera to cover the fact that he was "looking at or manipulating his phone." Investigators say that in the moments leading up to the accident, the 33-year-old truck driver was leering at pictures of scantily clad women on Facebook.

Strictly speaking, the man who caused this horrible and fatal crash is a "professional" driver. He was entrusted with a vehicle many times larger and heavier than the biggest SUV, and his only responsibility was to drive it safely from one location to another. Clearly, he couldn't even do that.

In all, the driver is now facing 20 felony charges related to the crash; including a charge of second-degree murder. In light of the trucker's brazen negligence and disregard for safety, the deceased victim's family may also wish to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

Source: ABC News, "Truck Driver Was on Facebook at Time of Fatal Crash, Cops Say," Daisha Riley and Suzan Clarke, NOv. 5, 2013

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