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Drunk truck driver allegedly at fault for accident that kills 2

The intersection between criminal law and the potential for a civil lawsuit when it comes to truck accidents has been demonstrated recently by a truck collision with a passenger vehicle in Fresno County, California.

According to police, the passenger car, with four occupants, had stopped at a stop sign at an intersection when a tractor-trailer rig crashed into it from behind. The impact pushed the car across the intersection and into a utility pole. Of the vehicle's occupants, a mother and her 14-year-old son died in the accident, while the other two persons were injured.

The driver of the truck was apprehended only after he hit another big rig before stopping at a gas station, where he abandoned his vehicle and ran away on foot. He has since been charged with driving under the influence, vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.

Truck accidents that involve criminal charges can also become the subject of a personal injury civil lawsuit by those injured in the collision and, as in this case, potentially a wrongful death action by family members of those who were killed by the collision.

In this instance, the alleged circumstances -- including a rear-end collision at a stop sign, the apparent intoxication of the truck driver, and his attempt to flee on foot -- could bolster any lawsuit based on negligence.

The criminal charges have been leveled solely at the truck driver. For any civil lawsuit, the employer of the driver might also be considered as a defendant if the employer knew of the driver’s negligent behavior.

Whether the company is negligent or not, either criminal charges or a civil lawsuit can be avenues of potential justice that may be sought in truck accidents involving injuries and fatalities.

Source: KFSN, “Two killed in Fresno County hit and run crash,” August 1, 2014

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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