Posted On: June 25, 2010

Family of Prison Inmate Fatally Struck in Dump Truck Accident Awarded $2 Million Wrongful Death Verdict

A jury has awarded the family of Rodney Jennings $2.025 million for his truck accident death in 2007. The 28-year-old, who was a prison inmate at the time, was struck by the truck while he was in a work detail picking up trash. The defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit are private dump truck driver Wayne H. Goss Sr. and the state’s department of public safety and correctional services.

The dump truck accident happened on August 23, 2007. According to the other inmate crewmembers, Jennings and at least two other inmates were trying to cross the freeway ramp when a tractor-trailer and a dump truck approached and tried to go through the exit at the same time. While the tractor-trailer was able to get through, the dump truck went off the ramp and struck Jennings.

The dump truck driver, Wayne H. Goss Sr., said he “leaned on" his horn when he saw the three inmates. While two of them stayed in the grassy area next to the ramp, Goss says that Jennings ran across the ramp and directly in front of the dump truck. Jennings’ legs were crushed and he was knocked unconscious. A fellow inmate was able to revive him but he was later pronounced dead at a medical trauma center. He reportedly experienced severe pain prior to his passing.

Under state law, many civil jury awards have a $680,000 non-economic damages cap. However, the family’s truck accident lawyer says that his clients are likely to receive close to $1.4 million of the $2.025 million verdict because the jury found both the trucker and the state liable. Jenning, who was serving two years in prison for a drug distribution conviction, was scheduled to get out of jail in 2009.

Jury awards $2 million in highway death of Md. inmate, Baltimore Sun, June 24, 2010

Inmate on Work Crew Killed on I-495 in Pr. George's, Washington Post, August 24, 2007

Related Web Resources:
FARS Encyclopedia, NHTSA

Large Trucks, IIHS

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Posted On: June 22, 2010

Illinois Semi-Truck Crash Causes Multi-Vehicle Collision that Injures Six

A multi-vehicle crash involving a semi-truck sent six people to the hospital. The Illinois truck accident happened on June 13 in a construction zone on Interstate 57.

At the time, the interstate was just one lane. Illinois State Police say that the semi-truck struck four other vehicles that had slowed because of the construction zone. The large truck then hit another semi, which caused the latter to overturn and hit a construction vehicle. According to KFVS, three vehicles that could not stop in time then struck each other.

Among the injury victims were semi-truck Jose Bruno, who police are calling the offending motorist, Angel Triana, who was co-driving along with Bruno, Susan and Robert Laley-Mahomet, and Priscilla and Guillermo Lopez-Elmhurst. Four of them were transported to a Herrin hospital while the other two were flown to a hospital in Evansville. Bruno received a citation for failure to reduce speed.

Four other people involved in the Illinois truck accident were treated at the crash site before being released. They are Michael Roper, Toni and Kellon Baccus-Eddyville, and Kathy Lacy-Herin.

Construction Zone Driving
It is so important that motorists obey construction zone laws and directives. Construction zones are there to protect not just the people that are working there, but also the motorists, who comprise a majority of the construction zone deaths that happen every year. Of the 31 work zone deaths that occurred on Illinois roads in 2008, 2 of them were construction workers. In 2007, only 2 of the 27 construction zone fatalities were workers. In 2006, only one of the 29 Illinois construction zone deaths was a construction worker. According to Illinois State police, driver inattentiveness and speeding were the most common reasons why these fatalities occurred.

Drivers must slow down in a construction zone and adapt to the traffic conditions to avoid hurting others motorists, as well as the workers, who are placing themselves at risk by working in the road construction area.

Six people hurt in crash on Interstate 57, KFVS 12, June 13, 2010

Construction zone warning: Slow down, pay attention, Quad City TImes, May 12, 2009

Related Web Resources:


Road Safe America

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Posted On: June 18, 2010

Man Settles Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawsuit for $3 Million

Christian Henninger has settled his Illinois truck accident lawsuit for $3 million. Henninger says that he sustained serious injuries, including broken vertebrae and liver and spleen lacerations, on June 23, 2008 when he was hit by a semi-truck driven by Mark D. Boehm on Interstate 80 close to Utica.

Killed in the Illinois tractor-trailer crash was William B. Waite Jr., a tow truck company owner who, along with Henninger, was assisting a disabled tractor-trailer. Henninger worked for Waite at the time. His family has sued Boehm and Double D Express for his wrongful death. That Illinois semi-truck accident lawsuit is still pending.

Police say that Boehm has told them that he was switching radio channels when the Illinois truck accident happened. He has been found guilty of failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and improper lane change.

Distracted Driving
Fiddling with the car radio, scrolling through an iPod in search of the right song, surfing the Internet on a PDA, watching movies on a laptop, reading a newspaper, text messaging, and talking on a cell phones are activities that should not be done while someone is operating any vehicle—but especially a large truck. Distracted driving takes the motorist’s eyes and concentration off the road. In many cases, at least one of the driver’s hands ends up off the steering wheel, which can make it challenging for the driver to maintain/regain control of his/her vehicle during a Chicago truck accident.

Man succeeds in $3 million suit against Double D, truck driver, News Tribune, June 16, 2010

Settlement in fatal crash suit, My Web Times, June 15, 2010

Tow driver killed on I-80 roadside, PJStar, June 24, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Fatality Analysis Reporting System

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Distracted Driving, NSC

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Posted On: June 16, 2010

Woman Says Illinois Tractor-Trailer Crash Caused Her Cervical Spine Injury

Roxann Bohstedt is suing truck driver Desmond Ashley and Markare Services for Illinois personal injury. Bohstedt is seeking over $100,000 plus costs.

According to her Illinois truck accident lawsuit, on March 18 the truck that Ashley was driving for Markare Services struck Bohstedt’s motor vehicle on I-55. Ashley was changing lanes at the time.

Bohstedt says that as a result of the Illinois tractor-trailer crash, she sustained permanent and severe injuries to her cervical spine and shoulders. She also contends that she suffered great mental anguish and pain, incurred medical expenses, and lost a great deal of income because she has been unable to pursue her usual occupation.

Bohstedt is accusing the truck driver of driving too fast, failing to keep the semi-truck under control, neglecting to keep a proper lookout, not keeping enough distance between his truck and the other vehicles, neglecting to keep his tractor-trailer in the correct lane, failing to yield the right-of-way, failing to lower his speed to avoid a truck crash, and driving his truck without regard for others’ safety.

Back injuries, shoulder injuries, spinal cord injuries, and neck injuries can be extremely painful and debilitating. They can require costly medical care, including surgeries, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. Depending on the seriousness of the injury, the victim’s quality of life can be seriously impacted.

If you were injured in a semi-truck crash that was caused by the truck driver, it is important that you not deal with trucking company's insurer on your own. Many insurance companies will try to get you to settle your Illinois semi-truck case and this can often cause you to agree to a smaller sum of money than you would have obtained if only you’d sued for Chicago truck accident compensation.

Woman claims truck driver caused I-55 accident, The Record, June 15, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Department of Transportation

Truck Driver Regulations, FMCSA

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Posted On: June 11, 2010

With US Trucking Industry Looking to Hire 400,000 Truckers by Close of 2011, Chicago Truck Accident Risks Can Be Kept Low If Employers Hire Good Truckers

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals says that the US trucking industry will have to add 400,000 more truck drivers by the end of 2011—200,000 by the end of this year, and the remaining 200,000 the following year.

According to, several factors will feed into this need for additional drivers, including the need to replace truckers approaching retirement age, industry growth, and tougher safety regulations to weed out the bad drivers and replace drivers who were laid-off when the economy fell. Since 2008, the industry has lost nearly 150,000 driving jobs. While during the recession trucking companies had a wider pool of applicants to choose from, that surplus of candidates has gotten smaller since the economy started to get better.

Preventing Chicago, Illinois Truck Accidents
Driving a commercial truck is unlike driving a regular motor vehicle and it is important that a truck driver be properly trained, abide by the federal and state safety regulations, doesn’t suffer from undiagnosed and/or untreated sleeping disorders, has a safe driving record, is a good driver, and is capable of safely driving a large truck that is loaded with thousands of pounds heavy cargo. Trucker inexperience is a common cause of catastrophic Chicago truck crashes, which are a tragedy not just for the victims, but also for the truck driver who never intended to be reckless or careless but lacked the experience and training to avoid causing a traffic crash.

Wanted: 400,000 truck drivers, CNN Money, June 9, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Council of Supply Chain Management Professional

Rules and Regulations, FMCSA

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Posted On: June 10, 2010

Trucker in Deadly Semi-Truck Crash That Killed Two Was Likely Not Wearing Glasses

Police are now saying that the truck driver that crashed his semi-trailer into two cars and another semi-trailer that was transporting bees on May 24 was likely not wearing his required glasses. However, they have made it clear that their investigation is far from over.

The deadly semi-truck crash occurred on the morning of May 24 on Interstate 35 in Lakeville. Killed in the multi-vehicle collision were the drivers of the two cars that were crushed between the two large trucks. 24-year-old Kari Rasmussen was airlifted to a hospital where she later died, while 50-year-old Pamela Brinkhaus was pronounced dead at the truck accident site. The collision also let loose a cloud of bees that had escaped from beehives and emergency workers had to use fire hoses to fight them off. Firefighters were stung in the process.

Jason Styrbicky, who is accused of causing the semi-truck crash, was not wearing contact lenses or glasses when police officers arrived at the accident site. They also weren’t in his food service truck. The 36-year-old trucker reportedly told investigators that he was in the process of grabbing his beverage when the deadly truck collision happened and he wasn’t looking at the road.

Truckers must be able to see the road properly and they cannot afford to be distracted. With their heavy cargo and the huge vehicle that they are driving, a truck driver who cannot visually assess distances or is looking at anywhere but the traffic around him/her can cause catastrophic crashes that can lead to injuries or deaths.

Police: trucker in fatal bee crash likely not wearing glasses, The Associated Press/The, June 10, 2010

Rescuers battle bees at deadly I-35 pileup: One truck carried millions of bees, and firefighters fought them with hoses to reach the victims. The State Patrol has identified both car drivers killed in the crash, DailyMe, May 25, 2010

Related Web Resource:
Rules and Regulations, FMCSA

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Posted On: June 5, 2010

Recent 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents Cause Injuries and Death

The family of 64-year-old Theresa Alonso is grieving in the wake of her tragic death yesterday after she was involved in an 18-wheeler truck collision. Alonso, who is a grandmother, was walking back to a retirement center to attend a BBQ she had organized when she was hit by the large truck.The truck driver that struck her says he didn’t see Alonso over the hood of his 18-wheeler truck.

18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
Proving liability in an 18-wheeler truck collision is hard work and can take time, which is why you need an experienced Chicago truck crash lawyer working with you. There may be more than one liable party—depending on the circumstances surrounding your truck accident—and your Chicago 18-wheeler truck accident attorney can pursue all avenues of recovery while protecting your legal rights.

In another recent 18-wheeler truck crash, two people were injured on the North Sam Houston Tollway on Friday night. The truck collision happened when a car accused of running a red light hit a van and the trailer of an 18-wheeler tanker truck. The impact of the crash caused the tanker to turn over and some of the truck’s fuel to spread over the road and into the sewer system. A fire broke out, which took more than an hour to contain. The van driver and the car driver were taken to the hospital in stable condition.

18-wheeler trucks are so massive in size and often carry such heavy cargo that anyone involved in a traffic crash with them has a likely chance of getting seriously hurt. If the truck crash occurred because the truck driver, the trucking company, or another party was negligent, you may be able to obtain the financial recovery you are owed for your injuries, medical expenses, and other costs and losses.

Staten Island Grandmother Killed By Truck, Gothamist, June 6, 2010

2 Injured in fiery tanker truck wreck on Sam Houston Tollway, KHOU, June 4, 2010

Related Web Resource:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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Posted On: June 4, 2010

Jury Awards $1.5 Million to Semi-Tractor Trailer Rig Accident Victim for Injuries that Ended His Career as a Carpenter

Nearly six years after he suffered a concussion, injured his back, and fractured his left rib, a jury has awarded Michial Jacobs $1.5 million for his big rig truck crash injuries. The verdict was issued after an 11-day trial and is believed to be the largest known verdict for a single person injury in the county.

On October 4, 2004, Jacobs, 63, was driving his trailer on I-505 when he was rear-ended by a semi-tractor trailer rig carrying 40 pounds of sugar and going at a speed of about 55 mph. The truck accident happened because truck driver Thomas Lloyd fell as asleep while driving.

Jacobs, who has not been able to return to work as a carpenter since the semi-truck accident, sued Lloyd and Ernie Newland and Pacific Transportation Services for truck driver negligence. He accused Lloyd of failing to exercise due care when operating the large truck.

Drowsy Truck Driving
A drowsy truck driver is a dangerous driver because his/her reflexes are slowed and paying attention to road conditions becomes very hard when someone is very sleepy. Drowsy truck drivers are like drunk drivers in that their driving becomes impaired. A trucker that falls asleep behind the wheel of a large truck is even more dangerous because he/she is for all intents and purposes driving while unconscious. Drowsy driving is negligent driving and can be grounds for a Chicago truck accident lawsuit.

In addition to commercial truck drivers who drive long hours for long distances and may have an undiagnosed sleep disorder, other persons at high risk of drowsy driving are:

• People that work night hours or the graveyard shift
• Narcoleptics
• Persons suffering from obstructive sleep apnea
• Medical house staff who work odd hours
• A person taking strong medication
• A person who is so drunk to the point of nearly passing out
• Young drivers
• Motorists who are not used to driving late at night or very early in the morning.
• Someone who is sleep deprived

Yolo jury awards man $1.5M for '04 accident, Daily Democrat, June 4, 2010

The Drowsy Driver,

Related Web Resources:
Large Truck Accidents, NHTSA (PDF)

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Posted On: June 2, 2010

Distracted Driving: Illinois Semi-Truck Crash that Triggered Deadly Nine-Vehicle Collision Involved Trucker Who was Reading A Map

A deadly nine-vehicle crash that claimed the lives of 3 people while injuring at least 12 others was reportedly triggered by a truck driver who was looking down at a map instead of the road as he approached traffic that had slowed down on Interstate 57 close to Mattoon. The trucker ended up rear-ending a vehicle close to a construction zone, which started a chain reaction resulting in the multi-vehicle collision.

The three people that died in the Illinois truck accident were Sheila Douglas, 61, her mom Juanita Hall, 80, and family friend Doris Mayo, 68. They were riding in an SUV that caught fire and was crushed by the large truck. 58-year-old Anne Faust, who is also Hall’s daughter, is in the hospital receiving treatment for her injuries.

All of the surviving Illinois truck accident victims were taken to hospitals. Their injuries ranged from scrapes to trauma.

Semi-truck driver Everett Van Duzee was not injured in the multi-vehicle collision. Urine and blood tests for alcohol and drugs came up negative. Illinois state police believe that his driver inattention was what caused the tragic collision. The Coles County State's Attorney's office will determine whether to file criminal charges against Van Duzee.

Truck Accidents
According to DriveCam Inc., distracted driving is among the leading dangerous driving behaviors that drivers in the long-haul trucking industry are known to engage in. Other bad driving behaviors include:

• Following too closely
• Traffic violations
• Failing to look far ahead
• Failing to keep an out

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Office of Analysis, Research, and Technology noted in its “2008 National Truck and Bus Crash Picture” presentation that 1% of long-haul trucks had been involved in a crash involving at least one fatality that year. 17% were involved in truck crashes involving at least one injury. 82% were involved in long-haul truck crashes involving only property damage.

DriveCam study pinpoints dangerous driving behaviors, Refrigerated Transporter, June 2, 2010

I-57 crash victims IDed as Miss. women, Chicago Tribune, June 2, 2010

Three killed in multi-vehicle accident on I-57 north of Mattoon, Herald-Review, June 1, 2010

Related Web Resources:
FMCSA Office of Analysis, Research, and Technology

Trucking Accidents, Nolo

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