Trucking Company Facing Lawsuit After Crash
A devastating crash has one Dallas-based trucking company facing a lawsuit.
A lawyer in Austin filed the case after a young girl was seriously injured in a crash involving a commercial truck in Round Rock. 19-year-old Lindsey Plummer was making her way home after a day out with her mother when the two were stopped in traffic on IH-35.
Suddenly, the vehicle was struck from behind by an 18-wheeler.
Plummer recalled the incident, saying she could feel the impact and hear the glass breaking, but soon saw nothing as everything went black. After calling police, she discovered the cause of the crash – Round Rock officers determined the truck driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel.
The trucker’s confession was recorded on the officers’ body-cam footage.
According to black box records, the trucker was traveling at speeds exceeding 50 miles per hour at the time of impact. Plummer said the driver crumbled the car, and the impact was so severe it pushed her car over to the side of the road.
Plummer’s lawyer, Brad Bonilla, said the truck driver didn’t start braking until the impact happened. “She was the brake,” Bonilla said.
The lawsuit alleges the accident may have been prevented had the driver been tested for sleep apnea. This condition has been a hot topic in trucking for quite some time, with many people inside and outside of the field saying it poses a major safety threat to truckers and the motorists they share the roads with.
Bonilla said it was very likely Plummer would deal with lifelong complications due to the accident, and what he called a bad decision on behalf of the trucking company.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, over one quarter of all truck drivers are at risk for sleep apnea. Without a good night’s rest, drivers are at risk for dozing off behind the wheel. While some companies require drivers to be tested for this condition, it is not a federal mandate as of yet.
One study said that drivers who suffer from sleep apnea are at five-times the risk of a crash.