Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

The family of John R. “Jack” Yates has settled their Baltimore truck accident lawsuit with Potts & Callahan Inc. and tanker truck driver Michael Dale Chandler. Yates, 67, died on August 4, 2009 when his bicycle got stuck in the truck’s large wheels. The terms of the Maryland wrongful death lawsuit are confidential.

Yates’s family had initially sought $5 million from the defendants. They had accused the excavation, demolition, and equipment rental company for negligence. Investigators, however, found that Yates was at fault in the Baltimore bicycle accident and charges were not filed against the trucker, who failed to stop at the Maryland truck crash site. Police did not think that Chandler knew he had struck Yates.

However, the family’s Maryland wrongful death lawyer has called the investigation “one of the sloppiest” involving a death that he has seen in a long time. He claims there was evidence that Chandler failed to signal before turning and that this was not included in the police report. Also, the intersection where the crash happened had two large signs warning that there were bicyclists in the area.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently issued its 2009 Traffic Safety Facts Research Note, which includes its motor vehicle traffic crash statistics for the year. According to the NHTSA, 33,808 people were killed in auto collisions in the US, which was a 9.7% drop from the 37,423 people that died in traffic crashes in 2008. This is the lowest number of US highway deaths to occur in a year since 1950.

The drop in traffic deaths happened even as estimated vehicle miles traveled went up by 0.2% in the past two years. NHTSA also says that the lowest injury and fatality rates at 1.13 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled occurred last year.

Locally, our Maryland motor vehicle crash lawyers and Washington DC car accident attorneys are happy to report that there also was a decline in the number of traffic deaths for the year. There were 549 Maryland traffic fatalities last year—down from the 591 motor vehicle deaths in 2008 and 29 Washington DC auto crash deaths in 2009—a drop from the 34 Washington DC motor vehicle traffic deaths the year before.

The nation also saw a reverse in the yearly increase in motorcyclist deaths, which has been on the rise for 11 years. In 2009, there were 4.462 US motorcyclist fatalities. Compare that to 2008 when there were 5,312 motorcyclist deaths.

More 2009 US Traffic Facts:
• 23,382 passenger vehicle deaths
• 503 large truck crash fatalities
• 4,092 pedestrian accident deaths
• 630 pedalcyclist crash fatalities
• 2,217,000 traffic crash injuries
• 1,976,0000 passenger vehicle injuries
• 17,000 large truck injuries
• 90,000 motorcyclist injuries
• 59,000 pedestrian injuries
• 51,000 pedalcyclist injuries
• 10,839 drunk driving deaths
• 162 Maryland drunk driving deaths
• 10 Washington DC drunk driving deaths

Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes, Traffic Safety Facts (PDF)

2009 Data Show Major Across-the-Board Declines in all Categories
Despite a Slight Increase in Road Travel
, NHTSA, November 9, 2010
Related Web Resources:

Maryland Department of Transportation

District Department of Transportation

Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog

Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog

Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog

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Police have identified the pedestrian killed in Thursday’s Baltimore tractor-trailer crash on Interstate 95 as Michael A. Coll, 36.The cause of the Maryland traffic crash is still under investigation. Following the deadly collision, all northbound roads were temporarily closed.

Coll’s death comes just two days after New Windsor bicyclist John Martin Jr.,51, was fatally struck in Union Bridge on Route 75 by a semi-truck that was making a right turn. According to a preliminary probe, trucker Anthony Edward Woodie failed to yield to the bicyclist when turning. He may face criminal charges.

Our Baltimore truck crash lawyers want to remind you that it is important that you not speak with the other party’s insurer without exploring your legal options first. Many trucking companies will take persuasive action to get you to settle for less than you may be owed for your injuries or a loved one’s death. It is important that you have a Maryland personal injury law firm advocating on your behalf.

Two truck drivers were injured during rush hour today in a Baltimore truck collision involving a box truck and a tractor-trailer. According to Maryland State Police, the traffic collision happened when a box truck rear-ended the semi-truck on the Inner Loop close to Baltimore National Pike.

One of the truck drivers reportedly fell asleep while driving. Following the Maryland tractor-trailer accident, box truck driver Michael Ocasio was taken to Shock Trauma and admitted in serious condition. The semi-truck driver was treated at the hospital for nonfatal injuries.

Drowsy Truck Driving

Because of all the hours they spend behind the steering wheel of a large truck—often at odd times of the day and night, with little rest, and while having to navigate through some very long routes—truck drivers are at higher risk than most other motorists of falling asleep while driving. It doesn’t help in the event that a trucker is suffering from sleep apnea—especially when his/her condition has not been diagnosed.

Unfortunately, many motorists don’t realize that driving while drowsy or exhausted puts them at risk of causing a serious Maryland car crash. The National Sleep Foundation says that 60% of Americans polled say that they’ve driven when sleepy and 37% say that they’ve fallen asleep while driving. Sometimes a motorist can fall asleep while driving for just a few seconds. At other times, what may feel like just a blink of an eye may last long enough for the motorist to unknowingly drive off the road or, worse yet, into oncoming traffic or the back of another vehicle.

Drowsy driving can be grounds for a Maryland injury lawsuit if another party is hurt as a result.

Signs that you may be too drowsy to drive safely:
• Heavy eyelids
• Frequent blinking to keep your eyelids from closing
• Not being able to remember the last few miles that you just drove
• Constant yawning
• Lane drifting
• Missing your exit
• Your mind feels foggy and you are having a hard time thinking clearly
Truck Driver Falls Asleep And Crashes On 695, WJZ, July 20, 2010
Two lanes of Beltway Inner Loop reopen after crash, Baltimore Sun, July 20, 2010
Drowsy Driving, National Sleep Foundation
Related Web Resources:
Obesity Linked To Dangerous Sleep Apnea In Truck Drivers, Science Daily, March 12, 2009
Sleep Problems Linked To Truck Drivers’ Performance Behind The Wheel, Medical News Today, August 15, 2006
Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog

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The family and estate of Rodney Jennings has been awarded a $2.025 Maryland wrongful death verdict against dump truck driver Wayne Goss and the state of Maryland, Jennings, 28, died in August 2007 after he was hit by a dump truck on Interstate 495.

At the time, Jennings was an inmate serving time for a drug-related charge. The Prince George’s County dump truck accident happened while he picking up trash. Jennings was part of a work detail working under the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

On the morning of August 23, 2007, Jennings was struck by Goss’s 39-ton dump truck as he and other inmates on the work crew tired crossing the Exit 17 ramp for Route 202. His legs were crushed during the Maryland truck accident and, according to the family’s Prince George’s County wrongful death lawyer, Jennings experienced severe pain for about 45 minutes prior to his passing.

The family of John R. “Jack” Yates is suing a truck driver and his employer for the 67-year-old’s Baltimore wrongful death. Yates was cycling in the Charles North neighborhood on Maryland Avenue behind the truck driven by Michael Dale Chandler on August 4 when he got trapped under the loaded fuel tanker’s tires and was run over.

The truck kept going because Chandler does not appear to have realized that he had driven over anyone. Yates was pronounced dead at the crash site.

Now, Yates’ daughter and wife are suing the truck driver and Potts & Callahan Inc. for $5 million. Following an investigation into the Baltimore truck crash, the bicyclist was found responsible for the tragic accident since he was riding in the parking lane and tried to overtake the truck from the right. However, the plaintiffs’ legal team is adamant that Yates wasn’t at fault. Under Maryland law, bicyclists must keep up with the flow of traffic and make sure their bicycles stay to the right.

A Harford, Maryland tractor-trailer crash has killed one man while critically injuring his wife. Leonard Clark, 38, and his wife Kimberly, 39, were standing next to I-95 on the night of February 24 when they where hit by a semi-truck.

The seriously injured couple was transported to Maryland Shock Trauma Center where Leonard was pronounced dead. As of last Friday, Kimberly’s condition was considered very serious.

Our Maryland tractor-trailer crash attorneys extend our sympathies to the Clark family. Losing someone you love and/or getting seriously hurt in a semi-truck crash is catastrophic. Tractor-trailers are so huge in size and heavy and weight that anyone struck by a semi-truck is at high risk of sustaining serious injuries and/or dying.

Just the day before the Maryland truck accident involving the Clarks, 22-year-old Boonsboro pedestrian Anthony Allen McChesney died when he was hit by a United Parcel Service semi-truck on I-81. The Hagerstown truck crash occurred at around 4:31 am.

Also last month, during the early afternoon of February 11, a State Highway Administration worker got hurt when a tractor-trailer hit his truck as he warned motorists that a crew was removing snow off the Baltimore Beltway. The SHA worker, James Flutka, sustained injuries. Truck driver Robert Scolaro, who was transporting diapers, was not injured. He did receive a traffic citation for failure to control speed.

D.C. man killed, wife injured in accident, The Washington Post, February 25, 2010
Boonsboro man struck and killed by tractor-trailer on I-81, The Herald-Mail, February 23, 2010
Even with the worst of two severe winter storms behind them, state police and roads officials are warning against complacency on the part of drivers, Carroll County Times, February 12, 2010
Related Web Resources:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Maryland State Highway Administration

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University of Utah psychologists are saying that texting while driving increases a motorist’s crash risk by six times. The study can be found in the latest edition of Human Factors, a journal.

According to the researchers, texting presents a 50% greater car crash risk than talking does. One reason for this is that reading or writing texts takes a driver’s attention completely off the road. Meantime, talking on the cell phone while driving at the same time divides the motorist’s attention between both tasks. However, this is not to say that it is safe to talk on the phone while operating an auto.

The study’s lead psychologist, Frank Drews, says that he and other researchers asked 20 motorists, ages 19 to 23, to drive in a “high fidelity driving simulator.” All of the participant drivers were seasoned texters.

The researchers say that compared to drivers who did not text or talk on the cell phone, motorists’ median reaction time went up 30% while they texted. Drivers’ median reaction time rose by 9% when talking on a cell phone. The study also reports that it is more distracting to read text messages than it is to compose them.

Distracted Driving Accidents

This past year, federal and state transportation safety officials have stepped up their efforts to make sure motorists are aware of how dangerous it is to text while driving. In September, Maryland’s statewide ban on sending texts while driving went into effect. Also that month, federal transportation officials kicked off a two-day distracted driving summit in Washington DC. This week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched it’s distracted driving Web site, and President Obama’s executive order banning all federal workers from texting when driving goes into effect today.

Unfortunately, distracted driving continues to be a leading cause of Maryland car crashes. Like drunk driving accidents, distracted driving crashes are preventable.

Research: Texting while driving leads to six-fold increase in accidents, TopNews, December 22, 2009
Texting While Driving Raises Crash Risk Sixfold, BusinessWeek, December 21, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Cell Phone Driving Laws, Governors Highway Safety Association

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

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The family of truck driver John Short has amended their Maryland wrongful death complaint to include the state as a defendant. Short died in a truck crash in August 2008 when he swerved his tractor-trailer to avoid another vehicle, crashed into a bridge wall, and drove off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

In June, the 57-year-old trucker’s family filed a $7 million Maryland wrongful death lawsuit against 19-year-old Candy Lynn Baldwin, who had fallen asleep while driving.

While Baldwin, who had been drinking before the tragic Maryland truck crash, did not have a blood alcohol level high enough for her to be charged with drunk driving, Short’s family says her results would have been different if authorities had tested her BAC right after the truck collision. They have pointed to her MySpace page, which included pictures of Baldwin, a minor, drinking alcohol. One photo shows her holding a bottle of alcohol while she’s seated in the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle.

Miriam Frankl, 20, died on October 17 from the serious head wounds and other injuries she sustained during a Baltimore hit and run accident that occurred the day before. Frankl, a Johns Hopkins University student, was struck by a white Ford F-250 moving at a high speed on St. Paul Street during a hit and run Maryland truck crash. Witnesses say that the driver of the truck, a man, did not stop. Instead, he allegedly made an illegal left turn onto East University Parkway.

Frankl was placed on life support at Maryland Shock Trauma Center where she died at 2:30am the next day. Thomas Meighan Jr., the 39-year-old truck owner, was initially arrested on at least 18 driving offenses.

Witnesses say that Meighan’s truck drove erratically for hours that day, tailgating, attempting to cut off other motorists, making abrupt lane changes, running several red lights, driving at high speeds on small roads and driving the wrong way.

Most of the lesser charges have been dropped. The remaining charges against Meighan include driving on a suspended license, failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving death, failure to stop vehicle at bodily injury accident, failure to stop vehicle at death accident scene, failure to render reasonable assistance to injured person, failure to furnish required ID and license, failure to stop after accident involving vehicle damage, and failure to remain at scene of vehicle damage accident.

Police are trying to figure out whether they can charge Meighan with vehicular manslaughter in the hit-and-run death of Frankl. Meighan claims he was not driving his car on the day of the deadly Baltimore car crash that claimed the 20-year-old’s life.

Prior to the October 16 Maryland pedestrian accident, Meighan already had 21 motor vehicle convictions. 8 of those convictions were for drunk driving. Over six of the offenses took place in Carroll County.

Driver’s truck terrorized Baltimore before killing student from Wilmette, Chicago Tribune, October 27, 2009
Charges pared in hit-and-run, The Baltimore Sun, October 28, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Hit and Run Maryland, Deadly Roads
Maryland Department of Transportation

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