CHARLOTTE, NC - NEWS UPDATE -
Tragic Charlotte Tractor Trailer Accident Results in Fatality
CHARLOTTE, NC - The Police investigation of the recent Charlotte area tractor trailer accident has been concluded. Trooper J.S. Nash with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol has published the DMV-349 crash report for the July 13, 2012 collision on I-85 in Charlotte. This rear-end collision involved a total of six vehicles. The Police Report confirms that the truck driver, Mr. William Miller of Charlotte, was driving a tractor trailer registered to Ryder Truck Rental and under DOT driving authority for PFG Transco, Inc. PFG Transco is a licensed and bonded freight shipping and trucking company running freight hauling business from Lebanon, Tennessee. While driving for PFG Transco, Mr. Miller was traveling along I-85 at approximately 55 m.p.h. as he approached a line of accumulated traffic that was proceeding at only about 15 m.p.h. Mr. Miller failed to notice traffic ahead, and he collided directly into the 1995 Isuzu SUV that was occupied by driver Deborah Suggs. Ms. Suggs lost her life due to injuries inflicted in the collision. Due to the force of impact, Ms. Suggs' SUV was propelled into the vehicle ahead of her, a Lincoln SUV occupied by Cintya Monroy and Elisa Sanabria. Three other vehicles in front of the Lincoln were also involved. The Police Report does not indicate what charges might be brought against William Miller.
Original Entry - CHARLOTTE, NC - A fatal tractor trailer accident occurred on July 13, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Friday accident occurred at approximately 2:00 p.m. on I-85 when a tractor trailer struck several vehicles. The chain-reaction accident was caused when the truck driver failed to notice that traffic ahead had slowed, and failed to reduce his speed to avoid a collision into the vehicles directly ahead. The truck first rear-ended an SUV, forcing that vehicle to collide into the rear of the vehicle ahead of it in line. This produced a chain-reaction collision involving 5 vehicles.
Following the initial collision, the tractor trailer and the SUV caught fire and became engulfed in flames. The female driver of the SUV died of her injuries at the scene. Six other individuals in the various vehicles also suffered personal injury due to the accident and were transported to local hospitals for treatment. The North Carolina Department of Transportation reported that this fatal truck accident resulted in a "massive back-up" that lasted for hours.
The Motor Carrier Division of the North Carolina Highway Patrol is handling the crash investigation. The state police investigation remains ongoing and charges against the driver of the tractor trailer are pending. Names of the victims and truck driver have not been released.
For the news accounts of this truck accident, visit:
Crash cases involving large trucks require careful investigation into the "root cause" of the collision. In the present case, it is not clear whether the truck driver was distracted, operating under strict delivery deadlines, fatigued, impaired, or whether any reasons exist to explain why he would not see traffic had slowed directly in front of him. Truck drivers must carry a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) which can be obtained only after thorough academic and behind-the-wheel training on how to maintain a safe lookout, how to monitor changing road and traffic conditions, and how to safely slow a commercial truck and thereby avoid a collision. An Electronic Control Module (ECM/"Black Box") download on this truck would reveal the speed at impact, whether the driver had his cruise control engaged, and whether any effort was made to slow or avoid the crash. Proper investigation of the crash and prosecution of any appropriate traffic charges in the present case will help to ensure that other commercial drivers do not repeat the tragic oversights that led to this truly tragic commercial truck accident.
The accident and safety history of the motor carrier or trucking company that employed the driver should also be considered. In most cases, the trucking company is acting safely and in compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that govern truck drivers and trucking company safety standards. However, profit-motive sometimes compels shippers to force drivers to drive for long hours or at excessive speeds to meet unrealistic delivery deadlines. In such cases, large trucks weighing 80,000 pounds or more are in the hands of drivers who are unable to safely control the risks of severe harm to other motorists who share the road with commercial trucks.
For information about the proper handling of commercial truck accident cases and North Carolina wrongful death claims, contact Nagle & Associates, P.A. at (800) 411-1583. Founding attorney Carl Nagle is a former insurance adjuster and former insurance defense attorney. He now only works for victims of North Carolina motor vehicle accident cases. For information about the firm's transportation litigation practice, visit www.carolinatrucklawyer.com.