Driver fatigue ruled as cause of accident

Louisiana residents may recall the accident that occurred June 7, 2014, involving comedian Tracey Morgan around 1 a.m. in New Jersey as Morgan was riding in a limousine van with friends when the vehicle was struck by a Walmart truck. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board has ruled that the accident occurred as a result of driver fatigue on the part of the Walmart driver.

The accident occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike near Cranbury when the driver of the semi-trailer, traveling through a construction area at 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, struck the limousine, causing it to strike other vehicles and overturn. As a result, Morgan suffered a traumatic brain injury and broken bones. Another passenger in the limousine was killed in the crash, and three others suffered injuries.

According to a NTSB investigator, the semi driver had been on the road for 24 hours when the crash occurred, having driven for 800 miles before starting his shift for Walmart. He had completed 13 hours of his driving shift when the accident occurred. An investigator for the NTSB stated that, if the semi driver had been driving no faster than the speed limit, he would have had time to stop before the collision. Authorities in the case say they believe the driver was sleeping at the wheel. He has been charged with assault by auto and vehicular homicide in the case.

An individual who suffers injuries in an accident involving a semi truck may recover damages for medical bills and lost time at work if the accident was the fault of the trucker. It may be beneficial in this instance to speak to an attorney, who may review accident reports and witness accounts to determine culpability and assist in filing a lawsuit.

Source: ABC News, "Walmart Driver Was Awake More Than 28 Hours Before Tracy Morgan Crash: NTSB," Erin Dooley, Aug. 11, 2015

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