Drivers with a commercial driver’s license are often held to a higher standard than other drivers since they are responsible for controlling vehicles that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded depending on the type of rig they drive. Ordinarily, their driving records must meet certain standards in order to get behind the wheel. Sadly, in a fatal accident that occurred on June 21, 2019 here in New Hampshire, a commercial driver not only had a bad driving record, but officials say he was also using drugs at the time of the crash, which killed seven motorcyclists.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s report on the incident indicates the driver admitted to reaching for an unspecified drink on that day when his pickup truck and trailer veered over the double yellow line and slammed into a group of motorcyclists. In addition, police found amphetamine or some other narcotic in the 23-year-old truck driver’s blood. As it turns out, his driving record indicates police in six different states had arrested him in the past for driving and drug-related offenses prior to this crash in New Hampshire.
Further investigations are underway against the trucking company that employed this driver to determine why the company allowed him to drive with such a record. Moreover, the truck and its driver were cited with 24 separate violations, including defective and/or inoperable brakes. The report says that 14 of those violations came out of this accident alone. The driver faces seven counts of negligent homicide in connection with this most recent tragedy.
He and his employer may also face seven wrongful death claims from the surviving family members of the victims in this fatal accident. When a family loses a loved one to the recklessness or negligence of another party or parties, the law allows them to pursue restitution for their financial losses and other damages. Successfully proving to the court that the deaths of their family members resulted from the actions of the party or parties deemed responsible could result in damage awards that provide not only monetary awards, but also some sense of justice and closure.