A trucker in Pennsylvania has been criminal charged over the distracted driving death he allegedly caused back in October 2017.
According to police, the trucker was watching a Steelers game on his cellphone while he was driving -- among other things. The distraction caused him to overlook a motorcyclist on the road ahead and ram into the back of the vehicle, killing the driver and seriously injuring the passenger.
Initially, the driver claimed that he simply misjudged the distance of the motorcycle. He claimed that he had simply glanced away for a moment, but wasn't using his cellphone while behind the wheel.
Fortunately for the surviving victim and the family of the deceased, investigators didn't buy the truck driver's story. They sought out the electronic evidence that revealed exactly what the driver was doing while he was supposed to have his eyes on the road.
According to the investigation, monitoring equipment maintained by the trucking company showed that the truck driver had the football game streaming on his cell at the time of the fatal accident. Cellular records also confirmed this. In addition, cellular records showed that the driver had been texting throughout his trip that day -- and even managed to place a bet on the football game. His mind clearly wasn't on the road.
As a result, he is now facing charges of homicide by vehicle. That's a charge that's reserved for times when there is clear evidence that a traffic accident was the result of sheer recklessness -- which definitely seems to be the case in this situation.
Stories like this illustrate the dangers of distracted driving. Unfortunately, they also show that you don't have to be guilty of distracted driving yourself to end up in a serious, even fatal, accident.
Victims and the survivors of victims should be aware that they have a right to pursue compensation for distracted driving accidents. In cases like this, involving a commercial vehicle, they may also be able to file a claim against the driver's employer. This can greatly increase the value of any injury award that they receive.
While no personal injury settlement can make up for the losses suffered in this type of accident, it can considerably ease the financial burden of the victims and survivors. It's also a good way to hold the guilty accountable -- whether the law can or not.