Our deepest sympathies to the family of a Houston County couple who died from injuries sustained in an accident caused by a loose hay bale on a semi truck.
Federal law provides that a driver may not operate a commercial truck unless the vehicle’s cargo is “properly distributed and adequately secured” (49 C.F.R § 392.9). It also prohibits a trucking company from requiring or permitting a driver to operate a semitrailer that is not properly distributed or adequately secured.
When this safety regulation is violated, the commercial truck driver, trucking company, owner of the freight (here the hay bales) and possibly others are legally responsible (“liable”) for any harm caused. If someone dies because of this, the family has a wrongful death claim and can sue for compensation. Our lawyers have handled these kinds of cases, and they know that families want justice and to do whatever they can to prevent these kinds of safety violations.
On March 7, 2015, a couple from Houston, Minnesota, were in their pickup truck northbound on County Road 9. Driver 1 was driving a semitrailer loaded with hay bales southbound on County Road 9. As the semi was approaching curves at the intersection of County Road 21, it lost large, round bales of hay, one of which struck the couple’s pickup, which crashed into the ditch and caught fire.
This preventable accident resulted in fatal injuries.
As agricultural transportation increases with the warmer weather, we urge drivers of large trucks to take care securing loads. Drive safely and save lives.