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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.”

Atascadero Man Dies in Accident After Semi-truck Rear-ends His Vehicle  on Highway 119 in Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, CA A man lost his life Wednesday morning when a semi-truck rear-ended his Prius. The collision caused both vehicles to rest on the highway’s right shoulder.

The incident occurred south of Highway 119 shortly before 3:30 a.m. The Prius driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to reports, the semi-truck traveled at approximately 55 mph in the slow lane. However, the circumstances surrounding the position of the Prius, whether it was in the slow lane or stationary on the right shoulder, remain unclear.

No further information has been provided.

The family of the deceased deserves answers.

When someone’s life is taken in a commercial vehicle accident, the family deserves answers and justice. Commercial motor vehicles are dangerous. Because of this, truck drivers must drive safer than others on the road. There is no excuse when an accident happens because of operator error. The driver, and often the employer, need to be held accountable.

What exactly happened here is not clear. However, one of the golden rules in the trucking world is for truckers to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of them. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that for speeds over 40 mph, truckers should leave at least 5 seconds between them and the vehicle in front. Did that happen here? Was the trucker maintaining a safe distance, allowing for faster reaction times in case of a sudden stop?

Even if an investigation determines the Prius driver was doing something out of the ordinary, that is no excuse. Truck drivers need to keep enough distance to respond to emergency situations. Unfortunately, based on the news report here, the trucking company and driver will probably try to escape liability by saying the deceased was in the wrong. However, as mentioned above, commercial drivers need to take precautions in all situations, especially at 3:30 in the morning, to ensure crashes like this do not happen.

The family deserves clear answers and justice for what happened.



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.


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