Truck driver involved in fatal collision may have had sleep apnea

The truck driver behind a fatal collision on I-16 may have suffered from sleep apnea and been fatigued at the time of the crash.

Lawsuit contends employer knew about driver's sleep condition

The recent crash along Interstate 16 that led to the deaths of five young nursing students may have been linked to drowsy driving, according to the Savannah Morning News. The latest lawsuit connected to the fatal accident contends that the truck driver who caused the wreck had a history of sleep apnea and was driving in excess of federally mandated hours. The lawsuit claims that the truck driver plowed into the two vehicles that was carrying the seven nursing students without slowing down or trying to avoid the collision.

Drowsy driving

The lawsuit, filed by one of the nursing students who survived but was injured in the crash, says the truck driver had a history of falling asleep while driving. The lawsuit also claims that the driver's employer, a Mississippi-based trucking company, was aware of his sleep problems but allowed him to drive anyway.

Another trucking company and its driver are also being sued for an earlier accident nearby that may have contributed to the fatal accident involving the nursing students. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that earlier accident was allegedly caused by a truck driver who was following a Winnebago too closely, which subsequently led to a collision that backed up eastbound traffic on the I-16. The nursing students, who were at the back of that traffic jam, were then struck by the truck driver in the second, fatal accident.

No attempt to avoid crash

A number of lawsuits have been filed in connection to both accidents. In the case of the fatal accident, the injured and the families of the deceased claim that the truck driver made no attempt to avoid striking the two vehicles carrying the nursing students. The truck first hit and ran over the Toyota Corolla carrying three of the students before striking a Ford Escape with the four other students inside. Investigators say the truck was going at highway speed when the accident happened.

An attorney representing one of the injured victims even claims that the truck's OnGuard system, which helps alert drivers to potential collisions, was turned on and operating, yet the driver apparently did not notice or heed the system's warnings. The truck driver is also accused of driving in excess of federally mandated hours.

Truck accidents

Accidents involving large trucks are often much more serious than other types of motor vehicle accidents. Injuries in these types of crashes tend to be severe and often require months and even years of rehabilitation and therapy. Those who have been hurt in such accidents should be able to focus solely on their recovery and not have to worry about medical bills and other expenses. By reaching out to a personal injury attorney today, such accident victims will have a dedicated advocate on their side fighting for their rights, including for any potential compensation they may deserve that can help ease the financial burden imposed by a serious crash.

Keywords: truck, accident, injury