A manslaughter charge has been filed against a tractor-trailer driver involved in a fatal Missouri truck accident. According to a report filed by two troopers for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the semi-truck crashed into and then landed on a Ford F-150 pickup truck after the semi driver “failed to observe the slow or stopped traffic’’ ahead of it on Interstate 44. When the crash occurred around 8 a.m., the pickup driver, a 43-year-old man from Rolla, Missouri, was jammed up in traffic along with many other motorists near Strafford. He tragically died at the scene of the alleged crime and the truck driver was arrested and jailed in Greene County. The State Highway Patrol said his next of kin were notified soon after the assistant medical examiner made the official pronouncement of his death.
Attorneys in the county prosecutor’s office wasted no time in filing felony charges against the tractor-trailer driver — a man identified by the State Patrol as a 44-year-old man from Mansfield, Texas.
The report said Singh was behind the wheel of a Kenworth tractor trailer and carried truck drivers’ insurance. Investigators filed a probable cause statement that said the truck driver has a history of violations including convictions for leaving the scene of a crash, six speeding violations, twice failing to obey traffic signs, defective equipment, failure to appear in court and driving while his license was suspended.
Local media outlets in Missouri reported that traffic was backed up by a crash about a mile ahead and that state Transportation Department crews had alerted drivers to the snarl on message boards and placed other warning signs and emergency response trucks on the freeway to warn of the congestion. The trooper concluded speed, as well as “inattention to advance message boards, warning signs and MoDOT trucks, caused this crash”, according to KY3 Television News reported from Springfield. The truck driver is charged with second-degree involuntary manslaughter and could be imprisoned if convicted.
Criminal Prosecution vs. Civil Truck Death Lawsuit
When a truck driver is arrested after a fatal traffic accident or one that causes injury, his criminal prosecution often dovetails or is followed by tractor trailer litigation. The purpose of a wrongful death truck lawsuit is to allow surviving family members a chance to pursue financial compensation. The family’s court action is separate from any criminal accountability sought by the state. But evidence gathered against the driver in the criminal case will bolster any lawsuit against the negligent truck driver. The private attorney on the wrongful death lawsuit can build on the evidence with additional investigation and should not settle for what the prosecutor uncovers.
It’s true that criminal courts require a greater burden of proof for convictions of alleged offenders. That standard is called “beyond a reasonable doubt.’’ In civil cases, judges and juries can rule against a negligent truck driver on a lower “preponderance of evidence’’ standard, meaning that a decision can be made in your favor if there’s a “greater weight of evidence” to support your side of the argument than the other.
Truck accident lawyers Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman represent crash victims and their families, not trucking companies, truck drivers or insurance companies. They have unlocked hundreds of millions of dollars of insurance money in their careers from the policies held by negligent truck drivers, trucking companies and other legally responsible parties. From their years of experience and knowledge of the inner-workings of accident litigation, Fred and Eric can tell you how much your case may be worth and what you can expect from them as your attorneys. Contact them online or call their office for a free case consultation now at 1-888-377-8900.