Authorities in North Carolina have reported that an accident involving a semi-tractor trailer on Interstate 85 claimed the lives of two people during the early morning hours of April 6. The accident occurred in the vicinity of Sugar Creek Road at approximately 4:30 a.m. While the cause of the crash was not immediately clear, investigators have revealed that the Arizona-based operator of the truck involved has been cited for unsafe driving by the FMCSA 4,098 times during the last two years.
According to police reports, the tractor-trailer was proceeding northbound on Interstate 85 when its driver lost control of the vehicle as it approached the Highway 29/49 connector. Police believe that the truck driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel. After striking a bridge, the truck and its cargo of cotton were engulfed in flames. The 22-year-old Jonesboro man and his 45-year-old male passenger were transported by paramedics to a Charlotte hospital. They both later succumbed to their injuries.
The northbound lanes of I-85 were closed for several hours as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze and crews cleared debris from the road. The highway was reopened to traffic at approximately 3:00 p.m. FMCSA records reveal that about 10 percent of the drivers hired by the logistics company involved have been involved in an accident of some sort.
Personal injury attorneys may file lawsuits against negligent truck drivers when commercial vehicle accidents are caused by impaired, distracted or fatigued driving, but they could also initiate litigation against trucking companies in some situations. Logistics companies with a track record of safety violations may face civil sanctions when they fail to enforce federal regulations or place road users in jeopardy by not addressing known safety issues.
Source: WCCB Charlotte, Both Driver & Passenger Killed In Wednesday’s I-85 Semi Crash, Courtney Francisco, April 7, 2016