Tired Truck Drivers Can Lead to Deadly Results

A St. Patrick’s Day tractor trailer accident along I-80 near Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania left one person dead and one injured in what appears to be a case of reckless driving on the part of the truck driver.

The incident took place while Gary Curry, 46, his wife Jessica, and his friend Dustin Snyder, 19, were trying to push the Curry’s broken down SUV off a bridge. Curry and Snyder pushed while wife Jessica sat in the vehicle and steered. In an interview with MSNBC.com, Curry said that they were out of the flow of traffic and many cars and several tractor trailers had passed the trio by without incident.

Then suddenly a tractor trailer truck was barreling down on them.

“I see that big red truck coming right at us. That’s all I see. I close my eyes and that's all I see is that truck,” Curry told a local reporter. He also said that the driver, 47-year-old William Marvin of Watertown, NY, did not even slow down until the very last second, but by then, it was too late.

“It didn’t even look like he touched the brakes,” said Curry. The tractor trailer crashed into the SUV, with Curry’s wife inside, and the collision was so jarring that the tractor trailer burst into flames. Jessica Curry was taken to the hospital with head and neck injuries but later released. The truck driver, William Marvin, did not survive the crash.

At this time there has been no word from Pennsylvania State Troopers on why Marvin failed to see the Currys and Snyder along the side of I-80. Curry speculated that Marvin was possibly using the cell phone or CB.

So far there has been no evidence to support that Marvin was breaking the law or federal trucking regulations that day, but for many truckers, fatigue is a daunting problem.

Due to the amount of destruction they can cause, Federal and State rules place strict restrictions on truck drivers – including the amount of time they can spend on the road between breaks. The rules are meant to combat driver fatigue, but unfortunately, they are not always followed. According to data from the National Transportation Safety Board, as many as 30 to 40 percent of heavy truck accidents may be related to truck driver fatigue.

In a 2006 Gainesville Sun article called, “Trucks, Tired Drivers Can be Deadly Mix,” several truck drivers admitted to abuse of federal rules and regulations within the industry. According to the truckers, driving while fatigued is a systemic problem, with shipping companies demanding goods on tight schedules and truckers, who are paid by the mile, feeling it necessary to drive as long and far as possible in the stretch of a day in order to make a competitive income. Unfortunately, it is often innocents who pay the price for these failures.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a tractor trailer accident in Georgia, you may have legal recourse. Call MLN Law at (404) 531-9700 for more information about your rights.