Chehalis, Washington — A collision on Interstate 5 claimed the life of a 44-year-old Napavine man, Bert A. Holmes.
According to preliminary reports, a semi-truck and trailer pulled over to the shoulder, partially obstructing the right lane on Interstate 5. Holmes entered northbound Interstate 5 from Labree Road when his 2005 Chevrolet Silverado collided with the semi-truck’s rear.
Bert A. Holmes succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
No further details are available.
Thoughts on Accidents Involving Stopped Trucks
A lot of folks look at this crash and assume the deceased is wholly responsible. This may not be the case.
Truck drivers cannot park their trucks on the side of the road and then try to escape liability when someone runs into the back of the truck. The trucking industry knows that parking a truck next to a moving lane of traffic results in serious injury and death.
The question here is why did the truck driver ignore basic rules of safety and park on the side of the road.
Federal law governs when a truck driver can park on the side of the road and what steps must be taken while parked. When a truck driver does not follow these rules, the innocent victim’s family may have a right to bring a lawsuit against the trucker and the trucking company and hold them responsible for their loved one’s passing.
However, trucking companies will rarely accept responsibility in this type of crash, and will likely try to point to causes outside the control of the driver as the reason for stopping.
For instance, we recently handled a case for a young woman who lost her husband in a crash just like this. As we investigated the accident, it was determined that the truck driver pulled over to the side of the road because the truck had a flat tire. From the outside, this seemed like a fairly legitimate reason to pull over. However, as we dug deeper, we determined that the tire that went flat had been underinflated for some time before the actual blowout. Had the trucking company or driver replaced the tire as they should have once they knew the tire was bad, the tire never would have blown out and the truck never would have been stranded on the side of the road.
The point of this is that trucking companies know how dangerous it is to park a truck on the side of the road and they need to do everything they can to prevent this from happening. This includes proper route planning, proper maintenance and repair, and training their drivers to park in designated rest areas.
There is too little information to know what happened here. However, we do know that a man lost his life and his family will be left picking up the pieces of his untimely passing. If the trucking company or driver has any fault in this crash, the family deserves answers and justice for their loss.
The Ammons Law Firm represents clients nationwide in catastrophic injury and wrongful death litigation, with extensive experience in complex auto/tire defect and commercial vehicle cases.
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.