WALB in Albany reports that a tractor trailer truck driver from Ohio has been charged with vehicular homicide after a fatal truck wreck in Worth County.
Julie Tyler of Hahira, GA, was killed when the truck driver ran a stop sign at Highway 133 and Highway 112. Tyler, 25, worked at LifeTouch Photography, where she took school photographs of children.
When the big rig hit Tyler’s Toyota Camry, the car become lodged under the truck and was dragged nearly 500 feet as the truck continued to skid down the highway.
Georgia State Trooper Scott McClure said, “He was coming up north of 112, crossing 133, and failed to stop at the intersection.”
“It was a horrendous crash,” said one witness. “It was like slow motion. The car hit underneath the truck. I went out there to see if I could help. I called 911 first.”
Tyler was crossing the intersection when the truck crossed into her path. Tyler’s car collided with the back of the semi truck.
“The tractor trailer drug the vehicle down the road about 500 feet,” said McClure.
First responders arrived quickly, but there was nothing they could do. Tyler had been killed on impact with the large tractor trailer truck.
The truck driver was 61-year-old William Fishbaugh of Greenwich, OH. He was been charged with running a stop sign, reckless driving, and first-degree vehicular homicide. He is currently in the Worth County Jail.
Fishbaugh was a driver for Dutch Maid Logistics, Inc., an interstate motor carrier with 91 power units that specialize in refrigerated shipments such as produce. Historically, Dutch Maid has had unsatisfactory driver safety ratings over the past few years. Violations against Dutch Maid drivers have included driver impairment, fatigue, and working too many hours. The trucking company has been a defendant in at least one other recent negligence lawsuit based in Pennsylvania.
McClure commented, “He was unfamiliar with the area, but that’s more reason to pay attention while you’re out driving.”
Unfortunately, tractor trailer drivers don’t always pay attention to the road. In fact, they often face more distractions than the average drive, such as on-board computers that dispatch directions. Truck drivers also face fatigue and long hours behind the wheel. Hours of service rules aim to cut back on fatigue by limiting the number of hours that truck drivers can work, but many drivers forge their log books to circumnavigate the rules.
In most trucking companies, the truck drivers are paid by the number of miles they drive, rather than the number of hours they work. Thus, they have an incentive to lie about their work hours so they can drive more miles and get paid more.
Increased competition coupled with a sluggish economy has put even more pressure on some truck drivers to drive faster and work longer hours. As a result, more people die in truck collisions than in all other forms of transportation combined.
If you’ve been injured in a tractor trailer truck wreck, you need an aggressive, experienced GA truck wreck lawyer who will stand up against large trucking companies as well as insurance companies. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.