An out of state tractor trailer driver and the widow of an Amherst County VA garage owner who died in a 2012 wreck have reached a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.
The suit stated that on Feb. 27, 2012, the big rig driver slammed into the deceased with his truck as the garage owner was working to remove a flipped truck off of VA 130.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed in October 2013 and sought $10 million damages, as well as $350,000 in punitive damages.
The police investigation of the wreck found that the truck driver was fatigued at the time of the crash. He also violated federal safety rules after he worked for over 14 hours without a break.
The suit stated that the big rig was actually longer than allowed and should not have been on VA 130 at all, but the driver ignored the traffic sign. Further, the truck driver was found to have left the scene of the accident that had caused property damage and death.
Our hearts go out to the family of this Virginia man whose life was needlessly lost due to the foolish and reckless actions of a fatigued truck driver. Many truck drivers in Virginia and around the country often disregard public safety in an effort to make money, which can lead to needless deaths and injuries on public roads.
Federal truck safety rules state that truck drivers can only work so many hours in a week and must take a break after 11 hours of consecutive driving. Those rules exist to prevent terrible accidents such as these.
We have represented clients who died in crashes with tractor trailers, such as this case in 2010 where the big rig driver rear ended our client’s car on I-64 in Virginia. This led to a fiery crash that killed our client. We established in court that the big rig driver had violated several rules in the VA CDL manual, which led to a $3.5 million settlement for the family.
Truck drivers should know that there is nothing more sacred than human life, and they should never drive for longer than federal rules allow.