The truck driver indicted in the death of three people following a seven-vehicle crash last May is now on trial for charges of homicide by vehicle as well as a multitude of other charges. The car accident that also sent several people to local hospitals in the Pennsylvania area has been attributed to negligence on the part of the driver by prosecutors. The case will go to trial following a preliminary hearing that took place on Jan. 5.
The accident report indicates that the driver did not take sufficient time to recover from a red-eye flight before driving off in his 40,000 pound vehicle just 90 minutes after landing. Around 1:15 p.m. on May 12, he apparently failed to heed electronic boards warning him of a lane closure further up Interstate 74, resulting in him rear-ending a vehicle that then struck two other vehicles, setting all three vehicles ablaze. Three people were trapped in the burning vehicles and did not survive. Several others made it out with varying degrees of injury.
A six-month investigation relying predominantly on cell phone records followed, and the man was arrested in late November. He now faces over 36 charges, all of which are bound over for trial. He is currently free on bail pending his trial date.
Should the evidence document criminal wrongdoing on the part of the truck driver for his role in the car accident, he could face serious jail time if convicted on homicide charges. In addition, Pennsylvania law allows the families of the deceased victims to file wrongful death suits against the driver and likely his employer. The surviving individuals could also file for personal injury using the same evidence to support their claims.
This blog entry was posted on behalf of Hof & Reid LLC, and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.
Source: lehighvalleylive.com, “Trucker in Interstate 78 triple-fatal accident faces trial“, Kurt Bresswein, Jan. 5, 2015