A recent rollover truck accident claimed the lives of two construction workers and injured more than a dozen others. While it was originally believed the accident occurred because of a tire blowout, recent news reports indicate that the driver allegedly was high on methamphetamine at the time of the fatal crash. In September, the driver was charged with negligent homicide.
As our experienced personal injury lawyers in Jonesboro know, truck drivers and their employers have a responsibility to operate safely. Drivers who use drugs or alcohol, and truck companies that fail to enforce drug and alcohol policies, put all others on the road at immediate risk.
Illegal drugs play role in fatal Arkansas truck accident
Arkansas Matters reported that the crash occurred on Highway 65 in Clinton, roughly 150 miles west of Jonesboro, on June 2, 2014. Accident reports indicate that the truck was carrying large logs and the driver lost control while nearing a construction zone. Two construction workers were killed and 16 others injured after the truck rolled over and spilled its cargo onto the construction crew.
Initial reports noted that a tire blew on the truck as it neared the construction zone. According to the Arkansas Matters article, the tire blowout caused the semi-truck's load to shift and overturn the truck.
According to Arkansas Matters and ABC 7, the driver was charged with two counts of negligent homicide and 16 other charges after blood samples drawn at the hospital revealed methamphetamine in his system at the time. ABC 7 reported the driver's behavior
resembled that of somebody intoxicated and that he admitted to taking drugs before the crash.
Furthermore, both news outlets revealed this was not the driver's first run-in with the law due to drug charges. The driver was revealed to have pleaded guilty to drug possession charges in 2012 and was serving a three-year probation sentence at the time of the crash.
Truck driver safety, truck company regulation key to accident prevention
Truck drivers are held to higher safety standards for a good reason. They must thoroughly understand how to safely operate a vehicle that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. This requires extensive training to operate. Not only are truck drivers responsible for their own conduct on the road, but the trucking companies that employ them are responsible for enforcing drug and alcohol abuse policies. They must screen potential employees and take other safety measures that ensure only the safest drivers operate their vehicles.
This is, unfortunately, not always the case. Some truckers choose to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Truck companies may fail to conduct an adequate background check and hire employees with a history of driving infractions or drug-related arrests. Some companies may even falsify records or destroy sensitive information to avoid facing charges after a truck accident.
When trucking companies cut corners and drivers disregard the law, the consequences can be catastrophic.
If you were injured or a loved one died in a truck accident, a Jonesboro personal injury lawyer can fight to protect your rights. Contact the McDaniel Law Firm at 1-855-524-4744.