As a trucking lawyer, I have seen the devastation and human tragedy which often results from the errors of commercial truckers. Due to the differential in the size of these vehicles from most cars on the roadways, tractor-trailers are uniquely positioned to cause massive damage in an accident. And those unfortunate enough to be caught up in a big truck crash often suffer devastating injuries, including traumatic brain injuries.
Statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration show that the vast majority of trucking accidents are caused by driver error. Now, a recent headline out of Skowhegan, Maine demonstrates that even a simple error by a truck driver can have fatal consequences.
The Bangor Daily News reports that Michael Morin, a 59 year old trucker from Oakland, was hauling a load of logs and decided to stop to eat at a local Pizza Hut. He parked and exited his truck, but forgot to set the parking brake. Unfortunately, he had also left the rig in neutral. The result? The truck began to roll forward as Morin was walking toward the restaurant. As it picked up speed, it gradually overtook Morin and ultimately struck and killed him.
The untimely death of anyone from such an accident is indeed a tragedy. However, it bears mention that Mr. Morin’s negligence could have easily proved much more deadly. If others had been exiting the restaurant, or if someone were pulling out/in to the lot, they may have found themselves in the same predicament as Morin.