Perhaps the worst kind of motor vehicle accidents are the kind that were avoidable. A few months ago, a 35-year-old truck driver pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and simple assault after reportedly colliding with a motorcycle on Interstate 81 in October 2017, killing the driver and injuring his passenger. Authorities allege that the accident took place because the truck driver was watching a pre-recorded football game on his cell phone at the time of the collision.
The man who died was a 56-year-old man who had previously undergone a liver transplant as part of treatment for cancer. His sister had had a birthday party the preceding evening, and he was driving her home during the early morning hours thereafter.
Authorities claim that, while distracted by a football game playing on a cellphone propped up on his dashboard, the truck driver struck the motorcycle from behind, causing both riders to catapult off. The motorcyclist died, while his sister sustained injuries but ultimately survived.
The truck driver’s guilty plea resulted from a deal that allowed him to avoid a conviction for homicide by vehicle, a more serious charge. Sentencing recently took place, during which the judge ordered the truck driver to serve three to 23 months in prison, plus 120 hours of community service and three years on probation. Additionally, the former truck driver can no longer hold a commercial driver’s license.
It is not difficult to sympathize with the boredom a truck driver must experience during long hours on the road, but cell phone use behind the wheel can be a dangerous distraction. Those injured in a truck accident may find it helpful to consult an attorney.