Local news here in Mercer County has been filled with reports of a tragic accident which claimed the life of James McClean, 59, a resident of Trenton, NJ. The crash occurred on July 17, 2014, when a dump truck driven by Daniel C. Everett, 38, of Westampton slammed into the rear of McClean’s Nissan Altima, pushing it through a guardrail and into Colonial Lake in Lawrence Twp. Witnesses indicate that the trucker was speeding and driving erratically when he hit the car and pushed it more than 200 feet into the lake. Scorer Trucking, the Pemberton based company which reportedly owns the dump truck, has apparently declined to comment on the accident. While the official cause of the accident remains under investigation, police reportedly found an “eye dropper” in the cab of the truck with a “brown residue” which is suspected to be heroin. Lab tests are pending.
Formal charges have been filed against the truck driver, including “death by auto”. As a truck accident attorney, I am appalled by an accident of this nature. Frankly, this is the type of event simply should never happen. The trucking industry is heavily regulated, and trucking companies, such as Scorer Trucking, are required to perform thorough background inquiries into their employees. However, from my experience, companies often fail to live up to the letter of the regulations. Truckers and trucking companies are supposed to limit the hours drivers spend behind the wheel on a daily/weekly basis, but in practice these rules are routinely violated. Trucking companies are supposed to police the qualifications of their drivers and to insure their trucks are maintained. Yet, these important safety regulations are frequently ignored — often with tragic results.
Frankly, the best way to know how or why a trucking accident occurred is to immediately seek the assistance of an experienced trucking attorney. Doing so will insure access to important documentation which may otherwise be lost or disposed of by the trucking company. My heart goes out to the family and friends of Mr. McClean and others whose lives have been ended or permanently altered by the negligence of truckers. The involvement of the authorities in this specific case should allow us to learn how and why this particular accident occurred. However, if this accident did not implicate criminal conduct, Mr. McClean’s family would likely never learn the “how” and “why” of the accident without the help of an attorney
If you, your friends or family have been injured by the negligence of a truck or bus, you should immediately contact an experienced trucking lawyer for assistance. Have a legal question? Contact Stark & Stark today.