Tractor-Trailer Driver Sentenced to 10 years for Deadly Crash in Georgia
Tractor trailer accidents are some of the most devastating accidents on the road. A tragic case from 2015 demonstrates this; when a family on furlough from a missionary trip lost their daughter as a result of a tractor-trailer driver under the influence. In October of 2015, news sources reported that a tractor-trailer driver was conducting a safety inspection on the side of the road when his trailer began to roll. The resulting accident pinned the Karr family’s car against a guard rail in Emerson Georgia along U.S 411. The accident left the family trapped in their car for over two hours as emergency workers attempted to rescue them. The father and two children in the car suffered undisclosed injuries, however, the mother lost her life as a result of the truck accident.
The driver pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and to involuntary manslaughter for the accident. As a result, he was sentenced to 30 years in jail and will be required to serve at least ten of those years. Police reported that the driver of the tractor-trailer was under the influence of a “mind altering” substance at the time of the accident. The driver reportedly addressed the grieving family in court and claimed that he made a mistake by failing to put on the brake which lead to the accident.
The driver, in this case, pled guilty to two charges; vehicular homicide and involuntary manslaughter. In Georgia, vehicular homicide occurs when a driver unlawfully causes the death of another person using a motor vehicle. More specifically, a tractor-trailer driver could face a vehicular homicide charge when they violate a traffic law which leads to the death of another person. It is important to distinguish that there is a difference between a charge of vehicular homicide and with the criminal charge of murder. A driver may not have intended to cause the death of another, but could still be charged with vehicular homicide. The second charge that the tractor-trailer driver pled guilty to was involuntary manslaughter, which is a separate crime in Georgia. Under Section 16-5-3 of the Georgia Code, involuntary manslaughter is the accidental or unintentional taking of another person’s life. If the accused individual is guilty of dangerously negligent, reckless, or non-felony criminal behavior, he or she could face up to 10 years in state prison upon conviction. While involuntary manslaughter is often charged as a felony, in some cases it may constitute a misdemeanor and carry a penalty of less than 1 year in prison.
Tractor-trailer Drivers Driving Under the Influence
Reports of this accident indicated that the tractor-trailer driver was acting erratic before the accident. Police also reported that the driver was under the influence of some intoxicating substance, which perhaps led to the accident. Driving a tractor-trailer is a serious responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly. There are numerous state and federal regulations that have been enacted over the years in an effort to curtail drivers from driving while under the influence of intoxicating substances. However, it is sad reality that not only do drivers get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, but they also get behind the wheel under the influence of other intoxicating substances such as:
While commercial drivers are held to a higher standard when it comes to driving with any substance in their system, it is all too apparent that the current laws and testing policies allow too many accidents to happen.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you have been seriously injured by an unsafe truck or a careless or distracted commercial driver, you may have suffered serious injuries requiring substantial medical care and treatment. When facing these costs, it can be essential to hold the responsible party accountable for your injuries, rehabilitation costs, and other damages. To speak to an aggressive and determined Bradford County truck accident lawyer of Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team, call (215) 246-9000 today or contact us online.