Police in Deerfield, Massachusetts responded to a call about a despondent trucker who had locked himself out of his tractor-trailer at a local gas station. When they arrived, the truck driver admitted he was under the influence of multiple drugs. What is even more frightening is that the driver also admitted to police he had used all of these drugs on his trip across the country in order to stay awake.
According to details provided by local law enforcement, the truck driver, who is from Alaska, traveled the 3,000-mile route from Seattle to Massachusetts without sleeping by using a drug cocktail by mixing together cocaine, crystal meth, and LSD.
When the driver locked himself out of the truck, he became upset and threw his credit cards into the truck’s gas tank. He then began climbing on the outside of the truck to try to get in. When police arrived, they described the man’s behavior as confrontational as he began running around the parking lot of the gas station/convenience store. The driver became violent with police and it took assistance from both the Massachusetts State Police, as well as law enforcement from several local communities, to subdue the man.
After police found the drugs on the man, he admitted that he had been using them all in his dangerous trek across the country. He also admitted to police he had not slept since he had left Seattle. The tractor trailer was empty and it is unclear at this time if the driver had already made his delivery or what the purpose of this trip was. The driver was taken to a local hospital. He has been charged with operating under the influence (OUI) by the Deerfield Police and is also facing several other charges that will be filed by the state police. Police have impounded the man’s truck.
Prevalent Drug Use among Commercial Truck Drivers
Sadly, this incident is certainly not an isolated one when it comes to tractor-trailer drivers operating under the influence of drugs. According to studies conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the use of drug use among commercial truck drivers continues to increase. The pressure truck drivers often face by trucking companies to keep to an unrealistic delivery scheduled, combined with the long hours on endless highways, often leads to the use of methamphetamines. These drugs enable the driver to stay awake – or go without sleep entirely – in order to log more miles and deliver their goods faster than they safely should.
According to one NTSB study, 85 percent of all truck drivers surveyed said that obtaining these drugs is easy since they are readily available at truck stops all along the nation’s highways.
Consult with a Seasoned Virginia Truck Accident Attorney
Our Virginia truck accident law firm knows all too well the devastation that a tractor trailer accident can cause. We have successfully represented victims and their families against negligent truck drivers and commercial carriers. For more information about truck accidents in Virginia, please download our free guide.