When Missouri drivers take to the streets and highways, they assume a duty of reasonable care toward others on the roads and sidewalks around them. For commercial truckers, this duty extends toward properly securing the loads that they transport. Recently, one truck who failed to do just that was convicted of criminal charges stemming from a fatal car accident that claimed the lives of an 86-year-old woman and her 63-year-old daughter.
The tragic accident took place when the trucker failed to appropriately secure the 42,000-pound bulldozer that he was carrying on his trailer. As the man was driving along Highway D, the bulldozer flew off of the trailer on a curve. The bulldozer ultimately slammed into a vehicle being driven by the 63-year-old woman. She and her mother survived the initial crash, but the daughter died from her injuries just over a month later, and the mother died nine months after the accident.
Both women were cooks at an elementary school, and their family has felt their double loss particularly hard. The younger woman’s daughter spoke at the convicted trucker’s sentencing hearing. She talked about how her father had to enter an assisted living facility because his wife was no longer there to help care for him.
The truck driver was sentenced to eight years in prison due to the fatal car accident. The man and his company also recently settled a wrongful death lawsuit brought against them by the women’s family for $345,000. While a financial settlement can’t bring back the women who lost their lives, it can at least help cover expenses and damages associated with their deaths. Further, it might help act as incentive for Missouri truck drivers and their companies to be sure to follow regulations when it comes to properly securing dangerously heavy loads when transporting them.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Marthasville trucker gets 8 years for bulldozer crash deaths” Susan Weich, Oct. 31, 2012