A jury in Hartford, Connecticut awarded over $7 million to the estate and family of a CT Department of Transportation worker who died at work on Route 8 near Waterbury, CT in 2012.
On March 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm, the man parked his Department of Transportation truck on the right shoulder of Route 8, and got out of the truck.
At that time, a tractor trailer owned by PTX Services in Wisconsin veered onto the shoulder. The DOT driver suffered several severe injuries and died at the hospital.
His attorney stated during the trial that the man was picking up trash from the shoulder and putting it in his truck.
The tractor trailer driver, a female, was charged with misconduct with a motor vehicle, failing to drive in the right lane, and falsifying trucking documents. She pled guilty in 2013 to misconduct with a motor vehicle and was sentenced to five years in prison.
The driver stated during the trial that she was distracted by a vehicle, but the deceased’s attorney was convinced that she fell asleep at the wheel.
Driver fatigue is all too common of a problem for truck drivers, as we have seen in many fatal truck accidents in Virginia. We have seen in many cases that truck drivers are more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel than other drivers. They have to drive at night for long hours, and many roads lack adequate rest stops. Also, some trucking companies push their drivers too hard to drive when tired. These factors make truckers more likely to have fatal accidents when tired.
We hope that this terrible tragedy is a stark lesson for all trucking companies – make sure your drivers are well rested or suffer the consequences.