A truck driver who was involved in a deadly highway pileup in St. Louis last summer admitted to a Missouri Highway Patrol investigator that he was distracted by a cell phone before he ran into a line of 10 cars, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
On July 15, 2008, Jeffrey R. Knight was driving a tractor-trailer loaded with scrap aluminum. Knight was traveling on Highway 40, just before the Interstate 270 exchange, when he reached for his cell phone.
“I reached across the dash to get my cell phone. I flipped the phone open, looked back at traffic, and I was there right at the last car (in the line of cars stuck in traffic). I didn’t see any brake lights or emergency flashers. After I hit the first car, I just remember holding the steering wheel and seeing cars going to my left and right.”
The article also states that the truck driver apologized to a nurse who stopped at the accident scene and said the accident probably would not have happened if he had not been on his cell phone.
Three people were killed in the pileup and 15 were hurt, including Mark Tiburzi, a 53-year-old who suffered severe brain trauma and now lives in a nursing home.
The Highway Patrol hopes to turn the case over to the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney’s office by early February to determine if charges should be filed.
Although a report compiled by the Highway Patrol officer at the scene has not been completed, a 140-page report prepared by the accident reconstruction team is done.
The accident scene provides many clues to the events leading up to the crash. Along with the black-box and GPS data, accident reconstructionists review eyewitness statements, skid marks, and the positions of the vehicles after the crash to answer the question of fault. Because this evidence can be destroyed, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.
The lawyers of Carey, Danis & Lowe are experienced in helping the victims of truck accidents. We will seek compensation for past and future medical expenses, past and future wages, pain and suffering, disability and other damages. We also represent family members in wrongful death cases.
Contact the Missouri/Illinois trucking accident lawyers at Carey, Danis & Lowe today at 877-678-3400.