The widow of New York State Trooper from Princetown NY who was killed on the New York State Thruway in 2013 has agreed to an unspecified settlement in US district court to resolve the wrongful death lawsuit against a Canadian truck driver.
The truck driver unintentionally crashed his rig into Trooper David Cunniff’s vehicle when he pulled over a speeder on the shoulder of the Thruway.
The lawsuit stated that the truck driver, Gary Blakely and his employer, GW McPherson Trucking, negligently, recklessly and carelessly failed to stay in the proper lane and caused the crash. It was determined later that the truck driver had worked for 16 minutes beyond the 14 hour limit for truck drivers when he slammed into the state police car.
Cunniff died from his injuries the next day. Meanwhile, the truck driver is serving a 3.5 year prison sentence in Erie County NY.
The driver who was pulled over for speeding was injured in the wreck and he is suing the truck driver and his company for $550,000.
Our Virginia truck crash attorneys have seen far too many truck accidents happen in recent years due to inattention and/or driver fatigue. As the Virginia CDL manual states so succinctly, it is a vital duty of commercial truck drivers to get enough rest and to be fit to drive. They should never drive after they have been on duty beyond the number of hours allowed by federal regulations. The CDL manual also recommends that truck drivers take breaks every two to five hours to stay alert.
While having to pull over to rest could in theory put a driver behind schedule, is that too heavy a price to pay? A man is dead with his family left behind, and the truck driver is now in prison and is likely financially ruined. Truck drivers making sure they are properly rested is a prudent thing to do. We are glad that wrongful death lawsuits can be filed in these cases, which can provide needed funds for the grieving family, but lawsuits will never bring back their loved ones.