Man Killed in NJ Truck Crash Caused by a Driver With a Record

Photo of car accidentLast month, we wrote about a truck driver who crashed into dozens of cars, through a police barricade, injuring three drivers and killing one. The truck driver was charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter, second-degree reckless aggravated assault and second-degree manslaughter. He was believed to have been drunk during the truck crash.

It has now been revealed the drunk truck driver has been arrested 55 times and violated his parole at least seven times. According to the prosecutors, the driver used fake Social Security numbers and has five convictions for felony offenses, including battery and domestic violence. Outraged victims and their families told ABC7 this driver should never have been on the road in the first place.

Trucking Companies Must Run Thorough Background Checks to Avoid Hiring Drivers With Records

Trucking companies have a responsibility to take steps that decrease the likelihood of a truck crash by determining the competency of its drivers. When they fail to do so and a driver causes a crash, trucking companies may be held liable for the following reasons:

  • Negligent hiring, which is when a trucking company should not have hired a driver and knowingly did so anyway
  • Negligent entrustment, which is when a trucking company should not have given a driver a truck due to his inexperience or inability to safely operate the vehicle
  • Negligent retention, which is when a trucking company learns of a driver’s incompetence, but allows the driver to operate a vehicle anyway

Federal regulations require trucking companies to run a detailed background check on a driver before he or she is hired. If they fail to do so and a driver has prior accidents or moving violations on their record, the trucking company can be held liable for any truck crashes and resulting injuries.

Drunk or reckless drivers in general can pose a great risk to others out on the road. Factoring in these types of driving behaviors with an 80,000-pound truck makes these drivers even more dangerous. Trucking companies need to thoroughly investigate all drivers before hiring them.

Spevack Law Firm is a New Jersey personal injury law firm that helps those injured in truck crashes.

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