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“I have been prosecuting serious injury and wrongful death cases against trucking companies, auto makers and tire manufacturers for more than 30 years. Our firm maintains this blog to share information and insight on transportation safety issues that continue to arise on our nation’s highways and roads.”

Nathaniel Lee McCoy killed by runaway truck in Virginia

Nathaniel Lee McCoy killed by runaway truck in Virginia

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. — Nathaniel Lee McCoy, a 37-year-old Stephens City man, sadly died on the morning of Nov. 9 in Round Hill while trying to stop a runaway truck on Woodfield Lane, off U.S. 50.

McCoy was working as part of a construction and landscaping crew at a home in the 200 block of Woodfield Lane when he attempted to stop a truck carrying cinder blocks that began to roll east, according to a local news report. Authorities said he caught up with the truck, but the vehicle tragically ran him over.

The truck came to rest in a field about 150 yards east of the road. McCoy was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Investigators with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office are trying to determine what caused the truck to get away or roll. OSHA is also investigating the death.

McCoy worked for A Cut Above Landscaping and Lawn Care, which merged with Advantage Property Management last year, and hired him in 2013, according to The Winchester Star’s interview with the company.

“He was an outstanding employee. He was one of the fundamental factors in the company in making all daily operations happen,” the Advantage president told the outlet. “We’re deeply saddened by his loss. Our prayers and condolences go out to all his family and friends, and everyone associated with the company.”

COMMENTARY ON THE NATHANIEL MCCOY ACCIDENT IN ROUND HILL

I was disheartened to hear of Mr. McCoy’s fatal incident during the course of a seemingly normal workday. A sudden and unexpected mishap such as this one, in my estimation, is the hardest for friends, family, and loved ones to deal with. This is especially true when a person is taken at such an early age with so much anticipation for the future still ahead. I am truly grieved for those left behind to mourn Mr. McCoy's death while trying to wade through the legal swamp they have been thrust into.

Based on my reading of the news report, it appears that a delivery truck loaded with concrete blocks had been delivered to a work site. When the heavy truck began to roll away, for whatever reason, Mr. McCoy chased after the truck to stop its progress and was inadvertently run over by the truck.

His courageous effort to catch and stop the runaway truck is evidence of his commitment to his employer and to their customers. Judging from his actions and his employer’s comments, he was a vital contributor to the company’s success.

Based on my experience with other accidents of this nature that I have handled during my 30 years as a personal injury and wrongful death attorney, I am guessing that Mr. McCoy never gave a split-second thought to his own safety—only to the best interests of those he had pledged his best efforts to.

Oftentimes, a mishap like this one is caused by mechanical failure. Perhaps the brakes failed, or the transmission slipped out of gear, which is especially common when a vehicle is parked on an incline. Although authorities have not stated whether these may be factors, these are very real possibilities.

In a similar case, a delivery truck's brakes gave way just as the driver walked in front of the truck and pinned him against the wall of a grocery store. In this situation, the company was held liable for the accident for failing to adequately maintain the company vehicle.

Regardless of culpability, it is wise for the driver of the vehicle to double-check maintenance requirements. The life you save may very well be your own. 

Disclaimer: All of the information contained within this post was compiled from public sources or constitutes the opinion of the author. Please inform us immediately if you identify any false or misleading information

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