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Charges filed in fatal state trooper truck accident

Posted on in Truck Accidents

This fatal accident occurred this past March, but the tragedy is still garnering attention. The deadly truck accident killed an Illinois State Police Trooper and his fellow officers are reminded of their loss as the man responsible for the crash now faces felony criminal charges.

According to a spokesperson from the Illinois State Police, the truck driver that killed the trooper allegedly violated rules that prohibit truck drivers from driving while tired. The driver also allegedly falsified work logs and violated a rule that prohibited driving after a 14-hour work shift without taking an adequate break.

A judge set the 26-year-old man&s bond at $125,000 for the felony charges. The criminal complaint states that the man fell asleep while driving and hit the victim. The state trooper was parked on the shoulder of I-294 on night patrol duty when his car was struck.

When the defendant&s semi-truck crashed into the back of the patrol car, it started a large fire. Both the car and the cab of truck burst into flames. The fire made it very difficult to extract the trooper from the wreckage. Officials were unable to pronounce the state trooper dead until three hours after the crash, when the fire finally subsided.

Prosecutors previously charged the defendant with a minor traffic violation, but dropped that citation in favor of the felony charges. State police are convinced that a simple fine or jail time is not sufficient justice for the victim or the victim&s family.

Regardless of whether it&s a traffic citation or criminal charge, victims and injured parties involved in truck accidents may be able to file civil lawsuits against a negligent party. Truck drivers must follow rules, like those mentioned above, that focus on accurate work logs, shift-length, and even truck weight. Violation of these rules may indicate that a driver or trucking company acted negligently. If that negligence led to the death or injury of another, then financial recovery from the negligent party is a possibility.

Source: CBS Chicago, "Wisconsin Trucker Charged In Crash That Killed State Trooper," Nov. 13, 2013

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