According to wtsp.com, a woman is dead as a result of her car being crashed into by a tractor-trailer on I-4.
Rear-Ended By A Tractor Trailer
The victim, identified as 63-year-old Marva Jean Daniels of Orlando, was killed when her Ford Focus was hit from behind by a semi-truck. The truck driver was identified as 35-year-old Michael Casey Cross of Lakeland.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the eighteen-wheeler had just merged onto the westbound lanes of I-4 and was positioned behind Daniels' Ford Focus. As Cross attempted to move into the left lane, Daniels slowed down considerably and Cross was not able to stop in time before rear-ending her car. As both vehicles came to a stop on the paved shoulder of I-4, the Ford Focus burst into flames. Unfortunately, Ms. Daniels died at the scene.
Truck Driver Improperly Trained?
The police report does not specify how much experience Cross has as a commercial truck driver. According to State troopers, the driver of the eighteen-wheeler did not have time to stop his rig when he realized that Ms. Daniels' car had slowed down.
As stated before, the Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the accident. However, given our many years of experience handling cases involving accidents with tractor-trailers, we cannot help but wonder whether this truck driver was adequately trained. Time and again we have seen how trucking companies rush their drivers' training with disastrous consequences. If Mr. Cross was not properly trained, he may not have realized that given the size and weight of his rig, he had to exercise extra care while trying to get on the expressway.
Truck Adequately Maintained?
Moreover, we have seen trucking companies neglect to give adequate maintenance to their fleet, usually just to save a few dollars. Mr. Cross' failure to stop his truck in time could have been because the brakes on his truck were worn out. Lack of adequate maintenance coupled with inexperience is a deadly combination.
Similarly, all too often greed prompts trucking companies to overload their trucks in order to make their operation more profitable. An overloaded truck with worn out brakes in the hands of an inexperienced driver is an even deadlier combination. Please note that given the weight and size of these large commercial trucks, they require longer distances to stop completely from the moment the driver applies the brakes. Under any one of these scenarios the trucking company may face liability.
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