Drivers of large commercial vehicles are legally held to a higher standard of safety because of the size of their vehicles and payloads. Failure to exercise due caution with a semi truck or 18-wheeler can lead to catastrophic consequences, and that was the case recently in Tupelo.
A 20-year-old mother and her 2-year-old child were killed when a big rig rolled down the road and hit a station wagon occupied by the victims. The collision pushed the smaller vehicle into a nearby insurance company. And despite the apparent negligence on the part of the truck driver, Tupelo police recently announced that charges will not be filed.
Investigators found that the driver of the semitrailer exited his vehicle without setting the parking brake, allowing the large truck to roll down the road and collide with the unsuspecting victims. A lieutenant with the Tupelo police department referred to the incident as a "freak accident."
The police department and the Mississippi Highway Patrol determined that the truck driver didn't have any criminal intent, so charges will not be filed. But the lieutenant pointed out that the family of the deceased mother and daughter could pursue legal action, such as a wrongful death claim, in civil court.
A company out of Nebraska operates the truck that killed the mother and daughter. Such companies are supposed to review the background of anyone hired to operate a semi truck, and sometimes companies that fail to check backgrounds, train drivers and maintain vehicles can be sued in the wake of a truck accident.
The grieving family in this case will undoubtedly want to explore their legal options for achieving justice.
Source: djournal.com, "No charges filed in semitrailer accident," J.B. Clark, Sept. 13, 2013