A commercial truck driver has been sentenced to four years in prison for a fatal collision that killed a 60-year-old daycare worker.
One day before Thanksgiving, the 43-year-old trucker was driving a tractor-trailer when he crossed the center line on Route 5, colliding with an older woman’s car. The mother of five was killed within yards of the church she attended.
When police searched his car, they found an open container of alcohol, along with methamphetamine and cocaine. Investigators later found out that the man had a long criminal history, including possession and DUI.
Police discovered that the man’s license had been suspended in his home state, so he should never have been behind the wheel. Chances are the man was enjoying special treatment as the son of the trucking company’s owner.
The incident launched a federal investigation into the trucking company, which inspectors determined had been operating recklessly with “almost nonexistent management safety oversight.” The federal government shut down the company not long after the accident.
A judge originally sentenced the driver to 32 years, but most of the sentence was suspended. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of involuntary manslaughter, a license violation and failure to maintain a logbook, in addition to drug and alcohol violations.
Are Trucking Companies Liable for Driver Accidents?
In this case, the trucking company is just as guilty as the driver. It was management’s responsibility to make sure he kept a proper logbook, which details driver activity, and they should have never allowed the man to drive with a suspended license.
A legal theory known as “vicarious liability” means that employers are responsible for the actions of their employees. In this case, the company’s negligence cost an innocent woman her life.
If you were injured in a commercial trucking accident, call Proffitt & Cox today. Our legal expertise could help you hold the right parties responsible and build the strongest possible case.
Proffitt & Cox, LLP – Columbia Injury Lawyer