MIDDLESEX COUNTY, N.J.—Henry Lee, a 54-year-old Marlboro resident, tragically died on Jan. 13 after his Honda Civic rear-ended a tractor-trailer parked on the right shoulder of the New Jersey Turnpike 10S north.
Authorities responded to the collision at about 7:05 p.m. Lee was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.
An investigation into the accident is ongoing. Officials said they have not yet determined the cause of the crash.
Thoughts from a Personal Injury Lawyer on Commercial Trucks Parked on Public Roadways
Many would look at this accident and conclude Mr. Lee is an unfortunate victim of inattention. However, having handled many similar cases across the nation, I can assure you things are not that simple.
A Clear Zone is an unobstructed, traversable area beyond the edge of a road used to regain control of an errant vehicle. Obstructing a Clear Zone is illegal. Commercial trucks must use designated areas to rest and attend to other personal matters. A commercial driver that blocks a Clear Zone for mechanical reasons must place warning cones behind the vehicle to inform oncoming traffic of its presence. Failure to do so is illegal. These are two considerations that come to mind immediately.
It is also important to look at Mr. Lee’s vehicle and determine if it functioned properly. As an auto-defect specialist, I have worked on countless cases caused by faulty manufacturing and design. Did Mr. Lee lose control of his vehicle due to tire failure? Did the steering mechanism detach from its housing and cause a complete loss of control? Alternatively, did the vehicle’s safety features perform as designed at the time of impact?
These questions, and others like it, will need to be answered before any determination of fault can be made. I offer my condolences to Mr. Lee’s family during this difficult time of grief.
Disclaimer: All the information in this post is from third-party sources or constitutes my opinion. If you are not comfortable with this post or would like further information, please reach out to my firm to speak with me.