The driver of the Wal-Mart tractor-trailer who crashed into a limo bus carrying comedian Tracy Morgan took to Twitter to declare his innocence. No, he didn’t send his best wishes and deepest sympathies to Mr. Morgan, or to the families of two people who died in the accident. Instead, the driver complained about the media attention he’s received since the accident.
The driver tweeted the following messages: “Today we saw why media has turned this country into nothing but a real life REALITY SHOW,” read one of his tweets. “Do they all come to my court date if a certain "FAMOUS PERSON" wasn't involved? Did the media show up for all the other ACCIDENTS this year that a driver was charged with a crime?”
A series of five tweets asserted his innocence and claimed he was charged only after police realized one of the victims was Mr. Morgan, according to the New York Daily News.
Here is a video from CNN.com about the tractor-trailer driver's court appearance:
The Wal-Mart tractor-trailer driver completely misses the point with his insensitive, callous tweets. Two people are dead and multiple others are still in critical condition because of this collision. It’s not about the media attention or some ham-fisted conspiracy to charge him with a crime just because a celebrity was involved.
The Wal-Mart truck driver was charged with vehicular homicide and assault by auto. Whether he is actually convicted of these criminal charges remains to be seen. I do believe the families of the victims, and Mr. Morgan, likely have a strong civil claim against the driver and his employer, Wal-Mart.
How could Wal-Mart be held liable? Well, there is a legal doctrine known as respondeat superior. This doctrine states that, in many circumstances, an employer is responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course of their employment.