Posted On: September 30, 2010

NTSB Says 2009 Tractor-Trailer Crash that Killed 10 Caused by Trucker Fatigue

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the 76-year-old trucker that drove his rig into a traffic jam on an Oklahoma highway last year killing 10 people was suffering from acute fatigue. In its report that it released this week, the NTSB says that catastrophic truck crash could have been prevented if only government regulators and the trucking industry had followed certain safety recommendations.

The trucker, Donald L. Creed, suffered from sleep apnea and likely had just five hours sleep before starting his shift at around 3am on June 26, 2009. He also had just gotten back from vacation and was readjusting to having to be up so early.

Creed had been on the road about 10 hours and was driving at a speed of almost 70 mph when he crashed his 40,000-pound big rig into a Land Rover and then drove over other cars. No evidence indicates that he attempted to stop his semi-truck or avoid the lineup of cars.

The elderly trucker later pleaded guilty to 10 counts of negligent homicide and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 10 years’ probation. Prosecutors said trucker inattention was a factor in the deadly truck crash.

Among the recommendations that the NTSB says regulators and the trucking industry have disregarded:

• Installation of warning systems that offer aural and visual alerts when a truck is in danger of crashing with another auto. The equipment, which costs around $1,000 to $2,000, could prevent about 96 deaths and 4,700 truck crashes a year.

• Safety recommendations that are related to dealing with truck driver fatigue, which is a cause of about 31% of heavy truck crashes.

The NTSB noted that although Creed wasn’t speeding—he was traveling under the 75 mph limit—it is important to note that a heavy truck going at such a high speed can have a devastating impact on smaller vehicles.

Contact our Chicago truck crash law firm to discuss your legal options.

NTSB Says Driver Fatigue at the Root of Fatal Oklahoma Truck Wreck, Trucking Info, September 29, 2010

NTSB cites fatigue in Okla. crash that killed 10, Google/AP, September 29, 2010

9 dead as truck slams cars in Oklahoma, MSNBC, June 27, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Prevalence of Sleep Apnea Among Commercial Truck Drivers,


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Posted On: September 28, 2010

Forest View, Illinois Truck Crash Injures Construction Worker

A Forest View, Illinois truck accident on a Stevenson Expressway off-ramp in southwest suburban Forest View has claimed the life of a construction worker. The Illinois truck crash occurred on September 17.

According to police, Milan Tomasevic, the driver of a freight truck, struck construction worker Aurelio Rosales while making a right turn at the top of the ramp. Rosales, 33, was repairing a barrier fence at the time. He ended up getting caught between the large truck’s trailer and the metal barricade. He sustained crushing injuries from the Forest View semitrailer crash and was transported to a Maywood hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Rosales was working for the Illinois Department of Transportation and contractor Midwest Fence. reports that signs had been posted for trucks not to turn right at the bottom of the ramp because of the bridge rebuilding project that was underway. Tomasevic, who works for G&S Expedited Freight, has received traffic citations for disobeying a traffic control device, failing to stop for construction, and making an improper turn.

Cook County Truck Accidents
Injuries from a truck crash can be catastrophic. It is important that you start exploring your legal options right away. If you were injured or someone you love was killed in a Chicago truck crash while on the job, you won’t be able to sue the employer involved—although Illinois workers’ compensation or survivors benefits are likely owed to you—but you may be able to sue the truck company, the truck driver, and/or other liable third parties.

Under Illinois law, killing or hurting a construction worker in a work zone can result in a $10 maximum fine and up to 14 years in prison. Rosales is the 3rd construction worker and the 22nd person to die in an Illinois construction zone accident this year.

Construction worker killed by truck, Chicago Tribune, September 18, 2010

Worker Dies After Being Hit, Crushed By Truck, CBS2Chicago, September 18, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Work Zone Safety, Illinois Tollway

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Posted On: September 22, 2010

FMCSA Posts Formal Ban on Texting While Driving for Truckers and Bus Operators

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has posted a formal rule that bars truckers and bus drivers from texting while operating their vehicles. Carriers are also not allowed to mandate or allow their drivers to text. The rule becomes effective 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register. If a driver is caught breaking the rule, penalty for conviction can be $11,000 for the carrier and $2,750 for the driver, who also can be disqualified.

Texting, per the FMCSA definition, does not include reading, choosing, or inputting a phone number, entering voicemail retrieval codes to receive or initiate a call, inputting, choosing, or reading information on a global positioning or navigation system, or using dispatch devices, fleet management system, smart phone, music player, citizens ban radio, or other devices that can perform numerous functions for purposes that are not prohibited.

Texting while driving is considered a dangerous habit for all motorists. Truck drivers are especially at high risk of getting involved in a truck crash when texting. At the second annual distracted driving summit in Washington DC this week, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced new rulemaking that would ban truckers carrying hazardous materials from texting or using a cell phone. The DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has jurisdiction over all hazmat haulers.

Our Chicago truck accident lawyers and your Chicago cell phone accident attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients that have been the victims of distracted driving accidents obtain their financial recovery. Contact us in Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, and Lake County, Illinois

Distracted driving continues to claim lives in Illinois and the rest of the US. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2009, 5,474 traffic deaths and 448,000 injuries occurred because someone was driving while distracted. Mr. LaHood, however, cautions that the actual figures are likely higher but that distracted driving isn’t always cited in reports as a cause of truck crashes, car accidents, bus collisions, motorcycle crashes, or pedestrian accidents.

FMCSA Posts Ban on Texting While Driving, TruckingInfo, September 22, 2010

DOT makes hazmat trucks no phone zones, Todays Trucking, September 22, 2010

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces 2009 Distracted Driving Fatality and Injury Numbers Prior to National Distracted Driving Summit, NHTSA, September 20, 2010

Related Web Resources:

US Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Federal Register

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Posted On: September 15, 2010

Illinois Dump Truck Accident Lawsuit Seeks Damages for 68-Year-Old Woman’s Wrongful Death

The family of Arlene “Kay” Marshall is suing J. Fuentes Trucking and Medinah Inc. and trucker Juan R. Fuentes for Illinois wrongful death. Marshall, a 68-year-old woman, was killed on August 6 when she was struck by a Mack truck driven by Fuentes. At the time Marshall was pushing her bicycle across Main Street in Downtown St. Charles. She was pronounced dead at the Illinois truck collision site.

In their Illinois truck accident complaint, Marshall’s family is accusing the defendants of negligence. They contend that Fuentes was careless when driving and failed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian, neglected to drive at a speed that was prudent, and did not keep his large truck under reasonable control. Police, however, have decided not to charge Fuentes.

Marshall leaves behind three brothers. They are seeking unspecified damages for loss of companionship, society, attention, guidance, training, advice, instruction, sorrow, and grief.

Chicago Truck Accidents
In any Chicago truck crash involving pedestrians, it is the latter that will be at the mercy of the trucker when it comes to sustaining serious injuries. While there are steps that pedestrians can take to protect themselves from becoming involved in an Illinois Mack truck accident, sometimes, there is nothing the traffic crash victims can do to avoid getting hurt.

Lawsuit filed in connection with St. Charles fatal accident,, September 15, 2010

Bicyclist's family sues over fatal crash, Daily Herald, September 13, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Michigan Center for Truck Safety

Rules and Regulations, FMCSA

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Posted On: September 7, 2010

$1.5 Million Illinois Semi-Truck Accident Settlement Reached Over Tow Truck Driver’s Wrongful Death

The family of William B. Waite has reached a $1.5 million Illinois truck accident settlement with Double D Express and Spring Valley trucker Mark D. Boehm. Waite, a 49-year-old tow truck driver, died on June 23, 2008 after he was struck by the semi that Boehm was driving.

At the time, Waite and another man, Christian Henninger, were helping a tractor-trailer that had broken down on Interstate 80 close to Utica. That is when Boehm’s large truck hit them from behind. The truck driver told police that he was changing radio stations when the catastrophic Illinois truck collision occurred.

The family’s Chicago truck accident lawyer says that they chose to settle because they didn’t want to bankrupt Double D Express and add to unemployment in the area. He claims that the company failed to buy adequate liability insurance—a statement that the defendant disputes.

Earlier this year, Double D Express settled its Illinois semi-truck crash lawsuit with Henninger for $3 million. Henninger broke his vertebrae and sustained spleen and liver lacerations during the accident.

Distracted Driving
Seemingly harmless activities such as selecting a new playlist on the iPod that’s hooked up to the vehicle, conducting a MapQuest search on a PDA to get the right directions, calling a friend to let them know you are running late, or putting on makeup while the traffic light is red can turn into dangerous actions when they contribute to causing a catastrophic Chicago, Illinois tractor-trailer accident. You may even have grounds for a Chicago wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit.

Tow truck driver's family settles for $1.5 million, NewsTribune, August 11, 2010

Man Settles Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawsuit for $3 Million, Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer, June 18, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Fars Encyclopedia

Distracted Driving

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Posted On: September 3, 2010

Chicago Semi-Truck Accident Sends Man to Hospital with Burn Injuries

A Chicago semi-truck crash that took place earlier this month on Interstate 90 close to Hoffman Estates left a Pontiac man with minor burn injuries on his body. The semi-tractor driver and co-driver also were hurt.

The Chicago tractor-trailer accident happened at around 10:50 August 10 after the semi-truck rear-ended 24-year-old Travis Miller’s 2002 BMW, which had broken down in an eastbound lane. The large truck then hit the median wall. Both motor vehicles caught fire.

Miller was able to escape from his car through a window. He was later flown by air to a Park Ridge hospital and then a Maywood hospital for treatment of his burns. 24-year-old trucker Fidel Santa and hid co-driver 25-year-old Efrain Garcia were treated at a Hoffman Estates hospital for their truck accident injuries. An investigation into who caused the Hoffman Estates truck crash is underway.

In Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, and Will County, Illinois, our Chicago truck accident law firm represents motorists and truck drivers injured in trucking collisions. Common causes of truck crashes:

• Inadequate driver training
• Overloaded trucks
• Distracted driving
• Poor maintenance
• Driver fatigue
• Drowsy driving
• Failure to yield the right of way
• Following too closely
• Drunk driving
• Distracted driving
• Speeding
• Poor road conditions
• Poor visibility
• Aggressive driving
• Driving while talking on a cell phone

Do NOT try to settle your Cook County truck accident case without exploring your legal options first. You may not know the extent of your injuries or costs that you may incur as a result of being the victim of a large truck accident.

3 hurt in fiery I-90 crash in Hoffman Estates, The Courier News, August 11, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Truck Accidents, Justia

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