A woman driving a minivan lost her life when a dump truck towing a loaded flatbed trailer rear-ended her vehicle and pushed it into the rear of a semi. Three other people, including passengers in the minivan, suffered injuries in the March 22, 2016, chain-reaction crash near the intersection of Capitol Boulevard and Burlington Mills Road in Wake Forest, North Carolina (NC).
The dump truck operator will be charged with causing the deadly wreck, but NC Highway Patrol officials did not announce what the criminal consequences would be. Common errors by commercial truck drivers that result in crashes that leave innocent victims injured and killed include speeding, becoming distracted and falling asleep behind the wheel. Any of those negligent acts would be especially problematic when the truck driver was approaching slowing or stopped traffic, as happened in Wake Forest.
Bringing a dump truck to a stop requires significant time and space. Add the weight and momentum of a flatbed loaded with a bulldozer, and that stopping distance increases considerably. Any excess speed or delayed reaction would all but guarantee a serious collision.
My Carolina wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send or condolences out the friends and family of the minivan driver, and we wish the injured passengers full and rapid recoveries. We also urge all commercial drivers to exercise extra caution on city roads, where even minor lapses in attention and small miscalculations of stopping distances can lead to tragedies.