MOUNT JULIET, Tenn. – 43-year-old Jared Crumby of Nashville was killed in a two-vehicle accident involving an Amazon semi-truck. The crash happened around 10:15 p.m. on I-40 West near Mount Juliet.
According to authorities, an Amazon truck was disabled on the right-hand shoulder of Interstate 40 due to mechanical issues when a Chevy Silverado crashed into the back of the trailer. The Silverado continued roughly 50 feet before coming to rest on the shoulder of the road.
Mr. Crumby was killed in the accident. The driver of the Amazon truck was reportedly uninjured.
No further information was immediately available.
Disabled trucks must adhere to federal law to prevent these accidents from occurring.
Many folks look at rear-end truck accidents and assume the driver of the passenger vehicle is at fault for running into the back of a disabled truck. This is not necessarily true. These types of accidents occur with alarming frequency across the nation. In fact, they occur so often that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted special laws that must be adhered to by truckers to ensure these accidents do not happen.
Semi-trucks cannot use public roadways as parking garages, and motor carriers know this. This accident would not have happened had the truck not been disabled on the shoulder of the road, and while we know from the reported facts the truck had a mechanical issue, this does not excuse the behavior. Having handled many cases just like this one across the country, we have found motor carriers predictably point to the mechanical issue to escape liability. However, motor carriers are required under federal law to inspect, maintain, and repair their tractors to ensure this very situation is avoided. The vast majority of mechanical issues that occur on public roadways would not occur had the trucking company conducted proper preventative maintenance. For instance, we recently handled a case where a client crashed into a truck disabled due to a tire blowout. Upon investigation, it was determined the blown tire had been driven underinflated for months, almost guaranteeing a future blowout. Had the company replaced the tire as required by law instead of forcing the tire into service, the accident would have been avoided, and a life spared. Motor carriers cannot point to a mechanical issue and escape liability when their own negligent maintenance and repair allow the mechanical issue to occur.
When a trucker is absolutely forced to park on the shoulder of the road, they must follow federal law to warn oncoming motorists of the truck’s presence. Specifically, 49 CFR § 392.22 requires, “Whenever a commercial motor vehicle is stopped upon the traveled portion or the shoulder of a highway for any cause other than necessary traffic stops, the driver shall, as soon as possible, but in any event within 10 minutes, place the warning devices required by § 393.95…” These warning devices, comprised of three emergency triangles, or at least six fusees or three liquid burning flares, provide motorists with clear warnings of a truck’s presence. This law would not be in effect if hazard lights were sufficient! When a truck breaks down and must park on the shoulder of the road, the trucker must follow federal law, a law designed to prevent this very type of accident, and provide ample warning of the presence of the truck.
More information is needed before it can be determined exactly what happened here; however, it is clear that this is not a simple rear-end-collision-fault-is-clear kind of case. This is a devastating wreck that has cost a man his life. The family of the deceased deserves answers, and if an independent investigation shows the motor carrier and trucker failed to take reasonable precautions to avoid/prevent this crash, they will need to be held accountable under the law. This is how our roadways become safer. When trucking companies are held accountable, change happens, and our communities are safer.
I extend my deepest condolences to the surviving family and friends and pray they may find the strength to endure this difficult time of grief.
The Ammons Law Firm is a nationwide personal injury firm focused on catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. Contact the Ammons Law Firm today for a free accident review.
Disclaimer: This post is not legal advice. Information contained in this blog was compiled from third-party sources or is the opinion of the author. Please inform us immediately if false or misleading information is contained in this post.