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NTSB confirms fatigue cause of fatal 2014 truck accident

For the men and woman who make a living driving large commercial trucks, our nation’s highways are their workplaces. From traffic congestion, road construction and inclement weather; on a daily basis truck drivers face numerous obstacles that challenge their ability to perform their jobs safely and on time.

While the trucking industry is highly regulated, there are always ways to skirt around regulations pertaining to drug screens, log books maintenance and vehicle repairs and unfortunately, there are times when trucking employers and individual truck drivers prioritize profits over safety.

On June 7, 2014, a truck driver who had just driven some 800 miles from Georgia to Delaware was allowed to get behind the wheel of a commercial Walmart truck. Despite legally “only having about an hour remaining in the period he could be on duty” he was allowed to drive the truck without seemingly any oversight.

Shortly thereafter, traffic accident investigators say he was traveling 65 MPH in a 45 MPH zone when he failed to slow down for slowed traffic. He crashed into the back of a limousine van in which comedians James McNair and Tracy Morgan were among the passengers.

McNair was killed in the crash and Morgan was among several passengers who suffered severe and debilitating injuries. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board recently presented their findings related to the fatal accident and confirmed that the truck driver’s fatigued state was the likely cause.

Traffic accidents that involve large commercial trucks are much more likely to result in the drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles suffering serious or fatal injuries. In cases where regulatory and safety violations caused or contributed to an accident, legal action should be taken.

Source: The New York Times, “Tracy Morgan Crash Largely Result of Truck Driver’s Fatigue, Regulators Say,” Benjamin Mueller, Aug. 11, 2015

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