Driver Fatigue Cited in Truck Accident that Killed Ten

Driver Fatigue Cited in Truck Accident that Killed Ten

A multimillion dollar settlement was reached this week for a truck accident that killed ten people on an Oklahoma interstate, Michigan Legal Center reports. The settlement was reached one day before a jury trial was scheduled to begin. Driver fatigue was cited as the cause of the fatal truck crash, and the 76-year-old driver will never be able to driver commercially again.

The accident occurred on an early afternoon. Traffic was already backed up on Interstate 44 outside of Miami, Oklahoma because of an earlier smaller crash when the tractor-trailer barreled into a line of cars at 69 miles per hour in a 75 mile an hour zone. The semi smashed into the back of an SUV and sent the SUV flying off of the interstate and continued traveling over three other vehicles throwing the third vehicle into a livestock truck. The semi came to rest on top of a minivan. The driver had started his shift 10 hours earlier and failed to take evasive maneuvers or use his brakes to stop.

The National Transportation Safety Board attributes the cause of the truck accident to driver fatigue due to lack of sleep, disruption in the driver’s sleep pattern and mild sleep apnea. The driver had just returned from vacation and was readjusting to the unusual hours required of his route.

The truck driver pleaded guilty to 10 counts of negligent homicide and was sentenced to one year of probation. The driver will also serve 30 days in jail and will be required to wear a monitoring device. The attorneys for the driver and the company he drove for agreed to a $62 million settlement with relatives of eight of the victims.