Cell Phone Could Have Triggered Tragic Multi-Car Crash

The Missouri Highway Patrol reveals that the driver of a tractor-trailer who crashed into a line of cars stopped in traffic admitted he was on his cell phone.

A recently released report from the Missouri Highway Patrol reveals that the driver of a tractor-trailer who barreled into a line of cars stopped in traffic on the highway admitted he was on his cell phone just before the crash that killed three and injured 15, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

According to the report, the driver told a nurse who arrived at the scene to help:

“I am sorry. This probably would not have happened if I would not have been on my cell phone.”

The accident happened on July 15, 2008 on Highway 40 just near the Interstate 270 exchange in St. Louis. Jeffrey R. Knight, the truck driver, told investigators:

“I reached across the dash to get my cell phone. I flipped the phone open, looked back at traffic, and I was right at the last car (in the line of cars stuck in traffic). I didn’t see any brake lights or emergency flashers. After I hit the first car, I just remember holding the steering wheel and seeing cars go to my left and right.”

The statements were included in a 140-page report compiled by the Missouri Highway Patrol’s accident reconstruction team. As soon as a separate report is prepared by the officer at the scene, the information will be given to the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney’s office to determine what, if any, charges should be filed.

A traffic accident involving a large commercial truck, such as an 18-wheeler or semi truck, can have disastrous consequences. A typical fully loaded large commercial truck can weigh over 80,000 pounds, while an average passenger automobile weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. Because of the sheer size of trucks, any collision between a commercial truck and another vehicle is likely to result in serious, even fatal, injuries.

It is critical to begin investigating the accident as soon as possible so that evidence is preserved. There are a variety of types of information that are relevant to claims, including information about previous violations of regulations by the trucking company or driver involved, the truck’s maintenance records, the speed the truck and other vehicles were traveling, the location of the impact on the vehicles’ exteriors, the truck driver’s log book and statements from eye witnesses and first responders to the accident scene, such as emergency personnel and police officers. Another critical piece of evidence is the truck’s “black box,” which records data before, during and after a collision. It will probably also be useful to investigate the trucking company’s policies and procedures.

An expert can be a tremendous resource to use in proving truck accident cases. An expert can testify about the possible negligence of a trucking company based on his or her familiarity with trucking regulations. An expert can be any person who has significant experience in the trucking field, such as a trucking company’s safety director, the former owner of a trucking company, a former investigator for the state department of transportation or a computer expert who has experience obtaining information from the “black box.”

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a trucking accident, contact The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. To schedule a free consultation, call (314) 361-4242 or fill out a personal injury intake form today. Attorney Chris Hoffmann will personally call you back. If you have a trucking injury claim, our experience can make a difference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *