You Wont' Believe What This Trucker Was Doing When He Killed This Mother of Two...

06/01/2010 | Auto, Semi & Motorcycle Wrecks

O.K., I've handled several semi-truck wreck cases, I'm a member of the American Association of Justice's Trucking Litigation Group, and I regularly talk about truck wreck cases with other lawyers that handle them routinely; however, I have never heard of a truck wreck that made me more angry than this one.

It seems Thomas M. Wallace was driving his tractor-trailer with no more than four hours of sleep over 27 hours and streaming pornography on his laptop computer when he crashed into the back of car driven by a 33-year old wife and mother of two.

Julie Stratton's disabled car was in the passing lane and was disabled after striking a deer.  She called 911 and was waiting on assistance when Wallace and his Miller Transfer 18-wheeler slammed into her.

And, as if streaming pornography while driving a 30,000 lb truck wasn't enough, a State Police investigation led by Investigator John J. McCusker determined, with the help of E-ZPass records and GPS tracking of the tractor-trailer, that Wallace had been sleep-deprived at the time of the crash. That violated federal regulations that limit the hours commercial drivers can be behind the wheel. State police also found Wallace kept fictitious log books to mask his hours driving.

Mr. Wallace pleaded guilty to second degree manslaughter Wednesday.  

Mrs. Stratton, in addition to being the mother of two young boys--ages 3 and 1, she also worked at a center working with special needs children.

I anticipate the Miller family will be filing suit against Wallace and Miller Transfer.  And, if the trucking company, and its insurance company has any sense, they'll go to the family and do the right thing rather than making them go through litigation.

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