Truck accidents can happen to anyone, including Tennessee state troopers. Often being stopped on the side of the highway can be dangerous as drivers may not expect to encounter a stopped vehicle. However, drivers are expected to maintain a safe distance from police cars that are conducting traffic stops near the road. One recent truck accident occurred when a truck driver unfortunately did not notice a police cruiser until it was too late.
On March 13, the Tennessee trooper had returned to his vehicle after a traffic stop on highway I-40 at about 3 a.m. A truck driver operating a big rig swerved to avoid the trooper’s vehicle on the side of the road. The truck was unable to do so, and a truck accident resulted.
The collision caused the patrol car to burst into flames. Unfortunately, the Tennessee trooper was critically injured. Further word on the law enforcement officer’s medical condition was not immediately known.
The truck driver reportedly told authorities that he was fatigued and nodded off as he drove on the highway. A passenger was sleeping in the truck at the time of the accident, but there was no indication that he or she was injured in the crash. Officials continue to investigate the truck accident. The truck driver was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, failure to move over and a violation of due care.
Unfortunately, this accident highlights a problem that seems to plague the trucking industry. Drivers often drive for too long without adequate sleep. However, they have a responsibility to stop driving when they are too tired. Similarly, trucking companies have a duty to ensure their drivers are not overworked. The trooper, like all truck accident victims, may wish to pursue personal injury claims against any party whose negligence caused or contributed to his serious injuries. The cost of his physical recovery, medical treatments and lost wages may all be a part of a possible claim, should he choose to pursue one.
Source: The Tennessean, “Trucker falls asleep, critically injures THP trooper,” March 13, 2012