Distracted Truck Driver Sentenced to Six Years for Manslaughter

A distracted tractor-trailer driver who was driving with a suspended license killed a 29-year-old teacher in Connecticut in 2016, and was sentenced to 17 years in prison last week with 11 years suspended. 

The 33-year-old truck driver entered guilty pleas for manslaughter and causing death while driving with a suspended license charges. In addition to the six years in state prison, he also will be on probation for four years and his driver’s license will be suspended for 15 years.

The family of the deceased teacher stated in court that they had lost their husband, father and dedicated teacher. His wife said that she loved him and missed him every day, adding that she would never recover from the loss. He also left behind a three-year old daughter.

‘Manslaughter Waiting to Happen’

The prosecutor said that the case was manslaughter waiting to happen. Several witnesses reported that the truck driver was driving dangerously on April 20, 2016. It was reported that the truck driver veered into the wrong lane and nearly struck an ambulance. He also crossed the center line again and almost hit a tractor-trailer. Minutes later as he drove down Route 302 in Casco, Connecticut, he crossed the median again and slammed into the 29-year-old teacher’s vehicle.

According to cell phone records, the truck driver was texting and calling while driving. His final call was to a friend who frequently sold him drugs.

He already had lost his license in March 2016 for not paying a fine for distracted driving. At the time of the deadly head-on crash, he was driving on a suspended license and was driving a commercial box truck.

Our View

As personal injury and wrongful death attorneys, we want to warn all drivers of the deadly dangers of texting and driving. All types of distracted driving are dangerous, with 3477 deaths caused by this menace in 2015 alone.

According to government statistics, 660,000 drivers each day are using their cell phones while driving. This is creating a huge potential for death and serious injury constantly. Everyone thinks that it can’t happen to them. But all it takes is to look away from the road for one or two seconds, and a horrible accident can result.

If you or a loved one is injured or killed because of a distracted driver, you should be aware that you have legal rights. In the above tragedy, the deceased left behind a young daughter. A wrongful death lawsuit, if successful, could provide the child with funds to raise her comfortably and to provide funds to go to college.