Police in North Carolina believe that a truck driver may have been fatigued or distracted when his semi-tractor trailer struck at least two construction vehicles in north Charlotte during the early morning hours of Sept. 28. The truck driver lost his life in the accident, and a construction worker was injured. According to figures from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, construction zone accidents caused 30 deaths and 6,542 injuries in 2019 alone. North Carolina law requires drivers to move over when passing emergency or maintenance vehicles.
The events unfolded on the southbound lanes of Interstate 77 near W.T. Harris Boulevard at approximately 2 a.m. According to local media reports, a tractor-trailer failed to brake or take evasive action before entering a construction zone. Witnesses told responding emergency workers that the driver did not seem to notice that the lane he was traveling in had been closed to traffic. A press statement issued by the construction company suggests that the truck driver may have also failed to see a police vehicle with flashing lights.
When it entered the construction zone, the tractor-trailer struck a dump truck, which was then propelled into a pickup truck. Construction workers were sitting in the vehicles when they were struck. According to the construction company, none of the workers suffered serious injuries because truck-mounted attenuators were in use. These devices are designed to slow down vehicles that enter construction zones.
Distracted or drowsy drivers may be killed in the accidents they cause, but that does not mean their victims are unable to take legal action to recover damages for their medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering and lost income. In these situations, personal injury attorneys with experience in motor vehicle accident lawsuits might initiate litigation against the negligent driver’s insurance provider or estate.