Update: Our lawyers settled this case for a significant amount in 2014. Attorney Eric Hageman (1-888-377-8900) was lead lawyer for the case.
Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman are representing the family of a semi truck driver (Driver 1) who died while driving a 2010 International semi tractor-trailer (Vehicle 1) westbound on Interstate 94 in the City of Menomonie, WI.
Driver 1 hit a 1997 Freightliner semi tractor (Vehicle 2) that we allege was illegally stopped in the same westbound lane of I94. Vehicle 1 then burst into flames. According to the preliminary investigation report, Driver 1 survived the crash and was killed by the intense post-crash fire. The investigation found that he was unable to escape from the cab and died of “catastrophic thermal injuries.”
Illegally Parked Semi Causes Rear-End Collision
The preliminary investigation of the accident found evidence that Vehicle 2 (driven by Driver 2) was stopped in the lane of traffic with no triangles or other warning devices out and no flashers on when it was rear ended by Vehicle 1.
Felony Charges for Marijuana Use
There is evidence that Driver 2, a California resident, was intoxicated and/or high on drugs (marijuana) as he sat in his illegally parked semitrailer and was hit by Driver 1, a Minnesota resident. State patrol that arrived on the scene said they smelled marijuana on Driver 2, who was not seriously injured in the crash. Driver 2 told a deputy that he had used a pipe to smoke “spice,” a type of synthetic marijuana, while at a rest stop.
Driver 2 was charged with Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Vehicle and Homicide by Negligent Operation of a Vehicle, both felonies, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor. These are criminal charges and do not provide compensation the family. For the family to be compensated, they need to take legal action on their wrongful death claim. This generally involves filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and the trucking company that owned the semi truck.
Cell Phone Use Connected to Crash
In addition, there is evidence that Driver 2 was talking with his girlfriend on his cell phone at the time of the crash. Although the truck was stopped at the time of the accident, the driver was in the traffic lane and causing a road hazard. Cell phone use in this situation is a violation of federal regulations.
“Our clients lost a husband, father and son because of the illegal and grossly negligent behavior of a semi truck driver,” said Fred. “We have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the trucking company and the driver, seeking justice for this family.”