A Texas truck driver was recently convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a fatal accident on the interstate. The driver, who worked for T-Energy at the time of the crash, pleaded guilty to the felony charge and was sentenced to one year in prison, followed by three years of supervised probation and $1,000 in fines.
The truck accident occurred on Interstate 77 when the driver attempted to turn his tractor-trailer around in a crossover zone which was reserved for authorized personnel only. A car traveling southbound crashed into him, and the driver of the car was killed.
State guidelines typically sentence drivers in these types of accidents to just probation with no jail time. However, this driver had a checkered criminal past with numerous driving related charges. The judge also stated that the truck driver was held to a higher standard of care based on the facts of the case and the fact that he had a commercial driver’s license.
While commercial truck drivers need to be aware that their large vehicles may require them to be especially careful, other drivers on the road also need to use extra caution when driving alongside them. When truck drivers handle their vehicles negligently, they can be held liable for any injuries caused in the accident. To bring a case against truck drivers, the injured party must show that the drivers failed in their duty to exercise reasonable care and that the injuries were caused by that lack of care. If the court finds the driver liable, the driver will likely have to pay the injured party damages, including medical bills and other costs.
Source: TriCities.com, “Texas truck driver convicted in fatal Wythe County crash,” May 9, 2013