A Virginia man is dead, a North Carolina highway worker is recovering from injuries and a tractor-trailer driver is facing a criminal charge for taking a life following a rear-end collision on NC 68 in Guilford County. The fatal wreck occurred in a work zone on the afternoon of June 8, 2015.
Investigators believe the big rig operator failed to reduce his speed when approaching a line of slowing vehicles north of High Point. The truck ran into the back of an SUV, forcing it off the road and into an NCDOT crew member. The man in the SUV, who died from his injuries after being transported to a hosptal, was identified as a former resident of Axton, VA.
North Carolina laws require each driver passing through a work zone to slow down and move over as far as they safely can in order to protect road crews. Individuals who do so save lives every hour of every day, but they also put themselves at unintended risk for getting rear-ended by negligent or reckless drivers who fail to act as cautiously.
It is unclear why the commercial truck driver may have missed or chosen to ignore posted signs and changing traffic patterns. The trucker may have gotten distracted by a GPS device or been rushing to meet a schedule for pick up or delivery. The ultimate explanation matters less than the tragic outcome, however. If the trucker had been more attentive or patient, it is likely that the crash on NC 68 would not have happened and that one fatality could have been prevented.
My Carolina wrongful death attorney colleagues and I share the sadness of the deceased man's family and friends. We urge all people to move through work zones as carefully as possible.