A 24-year-old paramedic was tragically killed and the driver of the ambulance was seriously injured in a crash on Interstate 694 in Brooklyn Center. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the Healtheast Ambulance was traveling eastbound on I-694, attempting to change lanes to go eastbound on I-94, when it crashed into a semi truck that was stalled on the right shoulder.

Federal Law Requires Stalled Commercial Trucks to Put out Warning Devices

Sara DuPaul of the State Patrol told the Star Tribune that “the semi had been sitting there for 15 to 16 minutes because of ‘mechanical issues.’”

“Whenever a truck is stopped on a highway for more than ten minutes, the driver is required to place warning devices on the road. If that didn’t happen here, the family members who lost a loved one deserve answers as to how that could have happened.”Eric Hageman LawyerAttorney Eric Hageman

There are 3 issues here:

  1. Were warning signal flashers turned on as soon as possible after the truck driver realized she was stalled?
  2. Were warning devices used?
  3. If so, were they used correctly?

Federal regulations require the use of warning devises when a commercial truck is stopped “upon the traveled portion of a highway or the shoulder of a highway for any cause other than necessary traffic stops” (49 CFR § 392.22).  Prior to that, the driver must “immediately activate the vehicular hazard warning signal flashers and continue the flashing until the driver places the warning devices.”

Truck Crash Warning Cone

We urge semi drivers to make sure they understand the law and then follow it. These warning devices save lives.

These kinds of cases almost always require an independent investigation by an experienced truck accident lawyer. One of the reasons is because, in addition to finding out exactly what happened at the scene, it is important to find out if there were past instances of failing to put out warning devices, and if the trucking company involved adequately trained for these situations.

Minnesota Law Requires Stalled Vehicles to Be Moved off of the Road

“Because of the danger posed by trucks stopped on highways, there are safety rules in place which require truck drivers to get their disabled vehicles off the roadway.”Eric Hageman

Under Minnesota Statutes Section 169.32 a stalled vehicle, including a semitrailer, must get off of the road and be moved far enough away from the road to give a clear and unobstructed width of at least 20 feet “for the free passage of other vehicles.” In addition, there needs to be a “clear view” of the stalled vehicle “from a distance of 200 feet in each direction upon such highway.”

A Tragedy That Should Never Have Happened

Marina Gayledeste Challeen, only 24 years of age, died in the crash. She was from St. Paul. The driver of the ambulance, Susanna Grace Kelly, a 27-year-old was seriously injured.

“While it is important to allow the police to complete their investigation, it seems clear this is a tragedy which never should have happened.”Eric Hageman

Attorney Eric Hageman helps families with Minnesota wrongful death lawsuits against commercial truck drivers, transportation companies and others.

These cases are particularly important because families need a lawyer capable of winning cases where the trucking company has a team of highly paid lawyers. Eric has won multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts, including a recent $6 million settlement for a family that lost loved ones in a crash. You can contact Eric for a free consultation at 612-338-0202.