Collision with Semitrailer Truck Parked on I-94 Shoulder Kills MN Man

Our deepest sympathies to the family of the Minnesota man killed when he collided with a parked semitrailer truck.

The semi was parked on the shoulder because of mechanical problems, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol. This raises 2 issues:

Did the truck driver comply with 49 C.F.R. § 392.22, which sets forth standards for “stopped commercial motor vehicles”? This federal regulation requires commercial truck drivers that have pulled over to immediately activate hazard warning signal flashers and continue flashing until the driver places warning devices. This federal safety regulation provides for very specific placement of specific warning devices, including reflective triangles, lighted lamps, fusees and liquid-burning flares.

What were the mechanical problems and who was responsible for them? Trucking companies are required to maintain their vehicles under 49 C.F.R. §396. They “must systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles and intermodal equipment subject to its control” The regulation specifically requires that all parts and accessories be in “safe and proper operating condition at all times.”

The crash is under investigation, and both the semi cab and trailer will be inspected. To date the Wisconsin State Patrol has released the following information:

A large truck driven by Benjamin Johnson, 45, of Spring Lake Park, MN, was parked on the shoulder of westbound I-94 because of mechanical difficulties. A 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue, driven by a man from Woodbury, MN, veered onto the shoulder, hit a cement highway barrier and then hit the parked semitrailer.

The driver of the Intrigue tragically died at the scene. The driver of the semi had no reported injuries.

It is important that accidents involving 18-wheelers and other commercial trucks be meticulously investigated. It is possible in these cases for a vital piece of evidence to be overlooked or misinterpreted. Our Minnesota attorneys have won settlements in cases like this one, where a parked semitrailer was involved in a fatal crash.

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Category: Accidents
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