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Truck driver found guilty in wrongful death suit

Los Angeles, California, law enforcement and Highway Patrol officers put their lives on the line every day in services of the public. And while these brave men and women are known to be confronted by dangerous situations, there are instances where simply being on the road proves to be hazardous. The widow of a state trooper that lost his life in a tragic accident last year won her wrongful death lawsuit, as the truck driver involved in the fatal crash faces criminal charges.

The truck driver accused of causing the fatal accident had reportedly worked a 12-hour shift loading his vehicle before getting on the road again. After driving a few hours, the truck driver allegedly fell asleep at the wheel, allowing his vehicle to drift onto the left shoulder of an Illinois intrastate. The state trooper involved in the incident was parked on the shoulder when his squad car was struck from behind by the semi-truck carrying more than 26,000 pounds of cargo. Tragically, the 28-year-old trooper died as a result of his vehicle catching fire.

Criminal charges have been filed against the truck driver for failing to abide by federal guidelines regarding required rest breaks for drivers that work at least 14 hours. He, along with the truck company that employed the driver, also faces fines. Beyond that, a judge recently ruled on the proposed wrongful death settlement between the truck driver, affiliated truck companies and the state trooper’s widow.

A settlement in the amount of close to $11 million was granted to the widow for the untimely death of her husband in the spring of 2013.

Source: suntimes.com, “Window gets $10.9 mil. settlement after state trooper’s death,” Maudlyne Ihejirika, May 14, 2014

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