Attorney Tad Thomas and fellow lawyer Ron Hillerich recently filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of four people who lost their lives in a March 2013 tractor-trailer crash on Interstate 65 north of Sonora, according to a recent article in the Courier-Journal.
In the crash, a tractor-trailer rear-ended the family’s vehicle, claiming the lives of the two parents, three of their children, and a family friend. Those who lost their lives had become trapped in the vehicle, which caught fire and burned, killing them. Two other children were able to escape the family vehicle.
Approximately three weeks after the crash, the U.S. Department of transportation ordered the Michigan-based trucking company, Highway Star, to cease operations. The agency declared the company to be “an imminent hazard to public safety,” saying that the cease-operations order was based on evidence that Highway Star had failed to ensure its drivers followed federal rules regarding Hours-of-Service.
The agency also found that the driver involved in the fatal crash had falsified his hours-of-duty records and that he had driven far more hours than the rules allowed. The purpose of Hours-of-Service rules is to ensure that drivers do not suffer fatigue that impairs their ability to drive. Because truck safety relies on drivers remaining alert, the Hours-of-Service rules are a crucial tool in preventing accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also ordered the driver to stop driving because of his hours of service violations.