Distracted driving has become one of the new buzz words of highway safety. Many states have responded to the increasing use of smart phones and similar devices by making distracted driving a crime. Unfortunately, the formal prohibition on the use of such devices is occasionally insufficient to prevent accidents and deaths.
A three-vehicle collision on I-64 in Franklin County on October 1, 2019 has been blamed on distracted driving on the part of the driver of a semi-trailer truck. According to Kentucky State Police, the driver of the truck was distracted by a video game on his cell phone mounted on his dash. The driver was unable to recognize that traffic ahead of him was slowing, and he was unable to stop in time. The semi rear-ended a Jeep, and both vehicles were pushed into a Ford Explorer. The semi left the roadway and traveled over a culvert and into the deep grass. The driver of the Jeep was pronounced dead at the scene. Police also said that the truck driver was not wearing his prescription corrective lenses in violation of his commercial driver’s license.
The driver of the Ford and the truck driver were transported to Franklin Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. Upon his release from the hospital, the truck driver was charged with second-degree manslaughter. Police said that other charges will follow. He is being held in Franklin County Regional Jail.
The truck driver appears to be at fault for the accident and the death of the Jeep driver. The heirs of the Jeep driver may decide to pursue a wrongful death action against the driver and his employer. The driver of the Ford Explorer may likewise decide to seek damages for personal injury from the same parties. Anyone who has lost a loved one or suffered a significant injury in a multi-vehicle collision may wish to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for an analysis of the evidence and an opinion on the likelihood of recovering damages.