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Turnpike Trucking Tragedy Underscores Need to Make Trucking Industry More Accountable

In the past week, three fiery crashes on Kansas City-area highways involving large trucks_ one of which killed five people_ have put motorists on edge. And they have served as a grim reminder of the danger that semi- trailers and other large commercial trucks pose.
In 2015, 4,067 people across the country were killed in crashes involving large trucks, according to the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, a national road safety advocacy group. That was an increase of more than 4 percent from the previous year and a 20-percent increase from 2009. Data from 2015 also shows that 116,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks, a 57-percent increase from 2009.
The July 11, 2017 crash that killed five people, including a longtime chemistry professor from Washburn University in Topeka and his wife of 55 years, was caused by the driver of a 2015 Freightliner semi-trailer. It occurred west of Bonner Springs, KS in the westbound lanes of Interstate 70, about two miles east of a construction zone at the Kansas Turnpike’s Eastern Terminal.
The semi-trailer driver, who was employed by a Colorado trucking firm, was speeding when he rear-ended three vehicles, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol. By the time he noticed that the traffic ahead of him was at a halt, it was too late. He slammed into two cars, knocking them to the side like bowling pins and killing the four occupants instantly. He then rear-ended another car, which was forced under the rear of another semi-trailer. The driver of that car was killed too.
Despite the rise in trucking deaths and the all too frequent images of burning trucks, mangled cars and body bags on our television screens, the trucking industry has consistently fought against regulations that could make the roads safer for Americans.
The vast majority of trucking deaths are as preventable as they are tragic, said Daniel A. Thomas, shareholder for Humphrey, Farrington & McClain.
“Too many in our community are at the mercy of multi-million dollar trucking corporations that value dollars over lives,” Thomas said. “We have the unique experience and ability, through the power of the court, to make these companies answer for the destruction they cause. So long as trucking companies resist regulations we know would save lives, we will make it our mission to hold them fully responsible.”
Since 2008, the attorneys at Humphrey, Farrington & McClain have won verdicts or secured settlements totaling more than $65 million for truck wreck victims or families of people killed by negligent truck drivers. Most of those cases, like last week’s Kansas Turnpike tragedy, involved rear-end collisions.
The attorneys have earned national recognition for their successful approach to recovering significant compensation on behalf of their clients.
Wrecks involving semi-trailers and other commercial vehicles frequently have multiple layers of liability. The attorneys at Humphrey, Farrington & McClain use their experience to look beneath the surface of the truck crash to uncover every party that shares responsibility for one’s losses.
Thomas said driver fatigue is the single-most common cause of trucking wrecks. And while uncovering facts about trucking defendants, he commonly finds that they have been in involved in previous wrecks, received unsafe driving violations and failed to comply with federal regulations designed to minimize driver fatigue.
If you have been injured by a large truck, or if you have lost a loved one because of the negligence of a truck driver, please contact us at 888-353-0491.

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