Posted On: September 30, 2010 by Steven J. Malman

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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