Commercial drivers are responsible for scores of car accidents throughout Maryland and other states every year. Now, the driver of a semi-truck who caused a fatal crash that killed a Maryland family has been sentenced to a 20-year prison term. The man, age 37, rear-ended the family as they traveled along Interstate 80 in Nebraska. The family was in the process of moving to California at the time of the incident.
Official reports show that the man pleaded guilty to charges of motor vehicle homicide and motor vehicle homicide of an unborn fetus in connection with the case. In return for his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to cap his aggregate sentence at 20 years.
The victims in the case included a couple and their two young children, both boys, ages 2 and 3. The woman was also 30 weeks pregnant at the time of the crash. Investigators believe that the driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel of the vehicle. Witnesses said that the driver was traveling at about 75 mph when he struck the stopped vehicle. This assertion is supported by the fact that the man never slowed down as he approached the traffic jam, which was caused by an accident that had occurred along the road shortly before this fatal wreck.
In addition, troopers say that logbooks show that the man was driving for 15 hours, a duration that clearly exceeds regulations governing commercial drivers. The defendant drove straight from Wisconsin into Cheyenne County, Nebraska, without a stop, even though he was mandated by law to stop and rest.
In this case, the man has received a criminal sentence for his misdeeds, but he could also be subject to civil sanctions if relatives of the victims decide to file wrongful death lawsuits. This man and his employer could be responsible for financial damages in connection with the case. Victims of commercial vehicle accidents can consider recovering financial compensation for wrongful death, pain and suffering, funeral and burial expenses, and a variety of other civil claims.
nebraskaradionetwork.com, "Trucker in crash that killed Maryland family sentenced to 20 years in prison" Brent Martin, Oct. 16, 2013