Trucking accidents are far too common in Tennessee and the rest of the United States. Many trucking accidents result when truck drivers without enough sleep doze off while behind the wheel.
Last week, a tollway worker was killed and a state trooper was seriously injured when a semi truck driver on little sleep caused a fiery crash on the side of an Illinois highway.
According to reports, the tollway worker and state trooper had pulled over to the side of the road to assist another trucker whose semi had broken down.
At about 9:45 p.m., a truck driver who had reportedly been driving for 36 hours on only 3 1/2 hours of sleep crashed into the squad car, sending it into the stalled semi. The vehicles then burst into flames.
The 39-year-old tollway worker was killed and the 38-year-old state trooper suffered serious burn injuries and broken bones.
The truck driver claimed that he did not see the vehicles on the side of the road even though the tollway truck and the police cruiser are said to have had their emergency lights flashing. He was subsequently charged with several felony driving offenses.
In addition to a criminal case, it is possible that the driver and his employer could also face liability in a civil lawsuit. An investigation will likely take place to determine whether the trucking company knew that the driver had not received enough rest but kept driving anyway.
Even though truckers are professionally trained in what they do, they are also human and need a certain amount of sleep to operate their trucks safely. Trucking companies that fail to see this put their drivers and the public at risk.