A family from West Palm Florida was involved in a serious collision this July. The family vehicle was hit by a truck driver, seriously injuring a five-year-old and eight-year-old who were in the vehicle's back seat. The children had to be flown to a nearby children's hospital for treatment, while both of their parents were treated locally for minor injuries.
Unfortunately, the driver of the truck that struck the family's vehicle had been previously cited for violations and the trucking company that employs the driver also has a record of violations. Victims of truck accidents should explore whether there was any past history of misconduct like this. If so, victims may be able to show the trucking company was negligent in its policies in a way that led to the collision.
9 News reported on the accident which resulted in injuries to the West Palm Beach family. Police believe the driver may have been distracted at the time the collision happened. He was coming back from a job with an empty truck, and was planning to load up on sand and park it for a job later in the week. He was driving when vehicles slowed in front of him, but he did not stop in time and struck the car with the parents and children from West Palm.
The driver had previously been involved in a collision in April of 2015 when the tractor-trailer rig he was driving went off the road. In the prior accident, the truck fell onto its side. The driver was cited in that accident for careless driving and for driving without a commercial license. He plead guilty to a charge of improper mountain driving after the incident.
He was also involved in an accident in February when he drifted to the side of the road and lost control of his rig. In that accident, the truck stayed on its wheels but the trailer broke free and slipped to the side. The driver told police in that incident that he had tried to move out of the path of an oncoming car, but the other motorist who was allegedly in the oncoming car was not identified or found.
These two prior collisions mean the recent accident was the driver's third. Despite this, the owner of the trucking company which employed him commented the driver had "never had anything like this happen in his 40 years." The trucking company should have been aware of the past problems, though, as the company was cited in connection with the driver's 2015 accident. The company was also cited for two other violations itself in the past two years.
The preliminary facts suggest the parents of the injured children could have a strong argument that the trucking company was negligent in continuing to employ a driver with a repeated history of violations.