The last week of 2010 saw a fatal accident on Interstate 70, near Agate, Colorado. A St. Louis, Missouri tractor-trailer driver is charged with causing the accident which took the life of a 71-year old man, and seriously injured two others. It is believed the driver of the 18-wheeler was traveling on the wrong side of the Interstate when the collision occurred. Eyewitness accounts state the driver of the semi-truck, Jason Ross, drove down I-70 the wrong way for at least nine miles with his lights off before the fatal collision. A Limon police officer responded to a call concerning the impaired truck driver. The officer caught up to Mr. Ross’s truck by driving west in the correct lane, then pulled his cruiser into the median.
Although the officer had both lights and sirens going, there was no response from Ross. As the officer continued to try to get the truck to pull over, Martin Hernandez, along with his wife and granddaughter, approached in the eastbound lane driving a Buick Park Avenue. Mr. Hernandez, 71, died at the hospital following the crash, while Angie Hernandez, 77 was later listed in fair condition. Audianna Hernandez, the nine-year old granddaughter of the couple was miraculously unhurt. Because alcohol was suspected as a cause of this tragic accident, Jason Ross was incarcerated and may be charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, DUI, reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of a divided highway, and driving with no headlights.
Most any traffic accident involving a semi-truck will likely be serious due to the sheer size and weight of the big rigs. When a semi hits another vehicle head-on, however, the results are most often shattering. While excessive speed or simple inattention are the cause of a large portion of truck-involved accidents, alcohol and drugs can also be a factor even though the majority of trucking companies have implemented random drug testing. Because it appears the driver of the semi was intoxicated, it is likely the family of Mr. Hernandez may have a wrongful death claim and may be able to pursue punitive damages as well. If you have suffered a serious injury accident involving a tractor-trailer, a Missouri personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable about trucking accidents can help. While nothing can bring back a loved one who dies due to the negligence of a truck driver, the family left behind is certainly entitled to reparation for their devastating loss, which is why they should learn more about things like punitive damages in Missouri and elsewhere.