Posted On: October 8, 2010 by Steven J. Malman

$62.7M Tractor-Trailer Accident Settlement Reached in Turnpike Crash that Killed 10 People

A $62.7 semi-truck crash settlement has been reached between Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. and the family members of 8 of the 10 people that were killed when a tractor-trailer crashed into a line of stopped cars on the Will Rogers Turnpike last year.The settlement comes just days after the National Transportation Safety Board issued a report stating that truck driver fatigue was what caused trucker Donald L. Creed, 76, to crash his 40,000-pound big rig into traffic, resulting in a catastrophic chain reaction. The NTSB’s report also noted that the truck collision could have been avoided if the trucking industry and the government had put into place certain safety recommendations.

The vehicles were stopped on the turnpike because of an earlier traffic crash when the semi-trailer collision happened. Truck crash victims included Ricardo and Ernestina Reyes (their daughter Andrea, then 13, survived the truck crash), Oral and Earlene Hooks, two of their sons Dione and Antonio, Shellby and Randall Hayes, their son Ethan, Cynthia Olson, who was Shelby Hayes’ mom.

Creed, the drivers and owners of two other autos involved in the first motor vehicle collision, and a number of insurance companies were also wrongful death defendants in this case. In August, Creed pleaded guilty to 10 counts of negligent homicide. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and subject to electronic monitoring for a year. He is barred from having a commercial driver’s license.

Creed suffers from sleep apnea.

Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck driver fatigue causes about 5,000 fatalities each year. Many truckers can’t help but suffer from exhaustion because of lack of sleep, long hours on the road, and having to work early in the morning and late into the night. There are also truckers that are suffering from sleep apnea or other sleeping disorders, which increases the likelihood that they may fall asleep while at the wheel.

A truck driver who is tired, drowsy, or asleep is a very dangerous driver. Many large trucks weigh and carry thousands of pounds. It is usually the pedestrians and occupants of other vehicles involved in a large truck crash that suffer.

IllinoisTruck Accidents
Chicago truck crashes happen for many reasons, including driver fatigue, distracted driving, drunk driving, driver recklessness, failure to obey traffic signs, truck overload, and aggressive driving. Truck accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries for victims. Trucking companies are experienced in combatting injury claims, which is why it is important that you get the legal help that you need.

Lawsuit Over Deadly Turnpike Collision Settled for $62 Million, News9, October 7, 2010

$62.7 million settlement reached in tractor-trailer accident that killed 10 on Oklahoma turnpike, DallasNews, October 7, 2010

The price of trucker fatigue, Illinois Times, September 12, 2007
Related Web Resources:

TECH BRIEF: Sleep Apnea Crash Risk Study, FMCSA

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