Trucking Accidents

Truck Driver Behind CA Metrolink Derailment

Chris Welsh, Esq. A truck driver making a bad turn onto railroad tracks is the cause of the recent pre-dawn derailment of a California commuter train that put twenty-eight people in local hospitals, four in critical condition. Jose Alejandro Sanchez Ramirez, 54, of Arizona, claims to have taken a wrong turn onto the tracks where he faced a head-on collision and abandoned the truck beforehand. He was found 1 ½ miles away and has been charged with a felony hit-and-run. Thus far, investigation shows that the truck may have become stuck on the tracks. Upon collision, the truck was engulfed …

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Four Highway Safety Lobbies Push NHTSA for Automatic Brake Systems in Big Rigs

Chris Welsh, Esq. www.welsh-law.com Safety advocates from four different groups are pushing for the National Highway Traffic Safety Association(“NHTSA”) to mandate a brake safety technology in big rig trucks. The technology is forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking, aka”F-CAM,” uses radar to alert the driver of imminent danger and to apply the brakes. If it determines that a crash is about to occur, it will automatically apply them to lessen the severity of the collision. The technology has been available for quite some time, but has seen inconsistent application by individual companies. Reportedly, just 3% of the more than 3 …

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Washington State Files $17 Million Suit for Bridge Collapse

Chris Welsh, Esq. welsh-law.com The Washington State Department of Transportation has filed a $17 million lawsuit for Skagit River Bridge Collapse of 2013. the lawsuit seeks damages to repay the costs of response and repair from over-height truck collision that caused the bridge to collapse into the river. In May 2013, a large tractor trailer with an over-height load collided with overhead braces of the bridge, severely damaging it and causing a collapsed that left two vehicles and the bridge in water. Thankfully there were no deaths, only minor injuries. The bridge, located 60 miles north of Seattle, has since …

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FMSCA Orders South Dakota Trucking Company to Cease Operations

Chris Welsh, Esq. welsh-law.com The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) has declared the Mitchell trucking company and its owner-driver to be “imminent hazards to public safety” (truckinginfo.com). The federal administration has ordered the South Dakota-based trucking company to cease all commercial operations within South Dakota and between other states. The order against the driver and company comes after an investigators found the company committed serious violations of federal regulations. Violations included failure to implement random drug and alcohol testing, dispatching intoxicated drivers with blood alcohol content of 0.04% or greater, and failure to enforce hours-of-service rules design to prevent …

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Jury Awards $4 Million to Family of SF Cyclist Killed by Big-Rig Collision

Chris Welsh, Esq. www.welsh-law.com The family of a cyclist fatally struck by truck in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood was awarded $4 million by a San Francisco Superior court jury last month. On August 14, 2013, Amelie Le Moullac, 24, was commuting to work when she was struck and killed by big-rig driver Gilberto Alcantar. Her tragic death was a point of much contention and emotion in a city where bicycling as a mode of transportation has nearly doubled in the last decade. Following the incident, the San Francisco Police Department was criticized for its handling of the investigation …

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