A head-on collision between a privately owned garbage truck and a Union County, North Carolina (NC), school bus claimed the life of the bus driver. Fortunately, no children were aboard the bus.
The fatal accident occurred along a curve of two-lane New Town Road in the town of Monroe, which lies a few miles southeast of Charlotte. State police investigators say the commercial truck driver crossed the center line of the rural highway at around 3 pm on December 8, 2014, causing the wreck in which he sustained injuries and the school bus driver died.
It is unclear from news reports whether the at-fault truck operator was speeding, distracted, fatigued from working long hours or impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time of the deadly wreck. Whether the garbage truck experienced a mechanical failure that made it unlikely the trucker could maintain his lane also needs to be considered. A more complete investigation will provide answers to those questions, but it does appear that some degree of negligence or recklessness set the stage for the accident in which the bus driver lost his life.
Determining exactly why the wreck occurred is necessary both for going forward with any charge against the truck driver and for assigning liability for insurance purposes. Construction vehicles like the one involved in the crash in Monroe often carry multiple form of insurance coverage from a range of insurers. The company that owned the truck could also have a separate policy, as may the truck driver. Sorting through those issues can be difficult; however, to succeed in receiving compensation for the unexpected, and likely preventable, loss of their loved one, the family of the deceased bus driver needs to know which people or organizations deserve to be held accountable.
My Carolina wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our condolences to the victim's friends and family.