Driver Falls Asleep, Kills 2 in Polk County, Ohio

Two people died on Aug. 21 in a car accident on I-71 near Ashland, Ohio when the driver of a Toyota Camry reportedly fell asleep at the wheel.

Lawsuit leads to $939,000 settlement.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported that the driver of the Camry – Paul Cory – fell asleep and drove off the right side of the highway. He struck and killed two pedestrians and a broken down tractor trailer.

The victims of this deadly car accident were the tractor trailer driver Steven Garceau, 44, and Dennis McKenzie, 28. It appeared that the victims of the crash were working on the disabled truck when the driver of the Camry hit them.

No charges have been filed against the driver yet, but the police continue to investigate.

Our View

Many drivers every year in the United States fall asleep while driving. One estimate states that 69% of drivers report driving drowsy at least once per month. Some of these incidents lead to serious and often deadly car accidents. People often think that they can force themselves to stay awake with sheer force of will. But the fact is that the need to sleep can overtake even the most experienced driver. If you are getting sleepy while driving, know that if you nod off, you could get in a serious accident that could injure or kill you as well as other people.

Even if you do not fall asleep, being drowsy behind the wheel leads to lapses in attention and slower reaction times. Driving is a very complex activity that requires us to make many decisions every minute. Even if you are technically awake, your brain will not be able to make these decisions quickly if you are not fully alert.

Our personal injury attorneys in Virginia and North Carolina urge all drivers to follow these tips to avoid falling asleep while driving. We want to avoid more accidents which so often lead to serious injury and death:

  • Take a quick nap just before your road trip.
  • If you are tired while driving, pull over and take a 20 minute nap
  • Do not drink alcohol, as this will make you more drowsy.
  • Avoid driving between midnight and 6 am, as this is when we most likely are to fall asleep

Our personal injury attorneys worked on a tragic tractor trailer wreck where the driver fell asleep behind the wheel. While we were pleased to obtain a $5.5 million structured settlement for the victims of the terrible truck accident, the victims of the crash will never be the same. Two little girls have serious brain injuries due to a truck driver making a tragic mistake of driving while fatigued. We want to see fewer of these crashes, so we urge people to get well rested before they drive.