More details have been released in the June 2, 2010 fatal semi-truck crash which happened on Northbound I-55 near McNutt Road in Herculaneum, Missouri. Since I originally blogged about this Herculaneum Tractor-Trailer Crash, more details have been released.
We now know that the truck driver is 32-year-old Jay L. Valentine of Huntsville, Texas. He told officers that “he looked over to his right for some reason, and looked back, and traffic had slowed.” When this happened, Valentine plowed into the cars in front of him causing a essentially what is now being reported as a nine car pile up. Tragically, a 52-year-old man and 28-year-old woman from Festus were killed. Otherws were injured.
Frankly, when you look at the carnage that was done, I am not buying Mr. Valentine’s story. While I certainly believe he wasn’t looking straight ahead, I think he must have been doing more than glancing to the side. There is absolutely no reports that the cars in front of him suddenly hit their brakes. Thus, I can only assume it was a gradual slow down. Thus, this begs the question – How long was Mr. Valentine not looking at the road?
Truck drivers have an obligation, not only under common sense but under Federal Safety Regulations, to pay attention to the road at all times so that they can see what is in front of them. The rationale is obvious – it is to prevent tragedies like this.
Of course, I would bet there is more to the story. My law practices specializes solely in injury law with an emphasis on semi-truck accident cases. Behind every so-called “accident”, there is generally a bigger story. For example, when we are involved in a case, we subpoena a number of records from the truck company to determine:
- What was the truck driver’s background
- Was a safety check performed on him before hiring
- Did he have any past safety violations
- Did the truck company properly train him
- Was he medically fit to drive a truck
These are but a few of the many stones that need to be uncovered. Some may think I am coming down too hard on Mr. Valentine – and perhaps I am somewhat slanted. My life is built around representing persons injured by the recklessness of others. But, tractor-trailer cases are my passion and there has to be accountability against unsafe truck drivers and the companies that employ them. This is often done through discovering a number of factors which lead to the imposition of punitive damages. All I can say in this case is that my heart goes out to all of the families involved and I hope that justice is done.
Joshua P. Myers is a Premier Missouri Personal Injury Lawyer. He is a founding partner of his law firm and also the President of Missouri Injury Law, LLC. His firm specializes solely in severe and catastrophic injury cases with an emphasis on commercial motor vehicle collisions (Semi-Truck Wrecks) – click here for his Missouri Truck Accident Website. He is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum – membership is limited to only those top attorneys who have achieved multi-million dollar recoveries in a single case. Based in St. Louis, MO, his firm handles cases throughout all of Missouri and Illinois. He can be reached toll-free at 888-956-2487. It is always free to discuss a potential case and there are never any upfront fees to retain his firm. Rather, attorney’s fees will be taken as a percentage of the recovery and the firm will also front all case expenses.