Fatal accidents involving big rig trucks are not uncommon in Los Angeles, but the truck usually stops at the scene or is disabled by the collision, making identification of the truck’s driver and owner fairly easy to verify. A recent fatal collision in Vernon, however, involved a driver who was able to make a novel and temporarily successful escape from the scene of a fatal accident.
The accident was reported to the Vernon Police Department shortly after 3 a.m. on April 30. Police believe that a semi-trailer truck was first involved in a minor crash about a block away from the scene of the fatal accident. Then, according to investigators, the big rig ran a red light and collided with a Chevrolet pickup truck. Rescue crews found the pickup lodged underneath the big rig trailer. Two persons were removed from the pickup wreckage; one was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other was taken to USC Medical Center with unknown injuries.
Normally, the driver of the big rig would have been identified and interrogated by police, but he was not found when police arrived at the scene. The driver apparently detached the cab from the trailer and drove away. Neither his whereabouts nor his identity have been learned. If the trailer had been properly licensed and insured, it should provide sufficient evidence to eventually identify the truck’s owner and the driver.
The family of the decedent and the injured person both have civil damage claims against the driver and the truck’s owner. Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in an accident where the responsible party fled the scene may benefit from consulting a lawyer who specializes in wrongful death accident cases. An experienced attorney will have access to records and to investigators who can assist in identifying the owner of the truck and the driver. Moreover, a consultation with a knowledgeable lawyer can provide a helpful evaluation of the case and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and loss of companionship.
Source: NBC Los Angeles, “Semi-Truck Driver Detaches Cab, Takes Off After Deadly Vernon Crash: Police,” Oleevia Woo and Marin Austin, April 30, 2016