By John Cooper, Virginia Trucking Accident Lawyer
A recent case in which a man was sentenced to 11 years in prison for a DUI accident that killed a tow truck driver, has again illustrated the vulnerability of people working in the tow trucking industry.
Jason Bailey, 22, was hit by an SUV and killed as he removed a vehicle on the side of Interstate 295 in Hanover County, Virginia, in May 2014.
Channel WTVR 6 reported on how Dwayne Miller Jr. was sentenced to nine years in jail for reckless involuntary DUI manslaughter and two years for failure to stop at the scene of an accident, according to court documents. The accident happened near the Mechanicsville Turnpike (Route 360) exit.
The SUV driven by Miller struck and killed the tow truck driver as he removed a vehicle on the side of the highway. Miller’s vehicle ended up in a ditch shortly after hitting Bailey. He got out of the SUV and ran away from the accident scene, according to investigators.
Virginia State Police said people living in a nearby subdivision gave a description of the driver and he was later arrested by troopers.
Court records suggested the SUV driver initially admitted he had been drinking alcohol, but later changed his story. Court records also indicated his birthday was the day after the crash, WTVR6 reported.
Tow truck drivers do a risky job and they are particularly vulnerable on fast-moving roads such as interstates. In some cases passengers have also been placed in harm’s way. Last year, a pregnant woman who was riding as a passenger in a tow truck was killed in Spotsylvania County after a head-on crash involving a tow truck and a car.
Tow truck drivers are protected by the “move-over” law that stipulates you must change lanes or slow down if you see an emergency vehicle beside the road with flashing lights.
Recently NBC reported on how the son of a tow truck driver who was fatally struck beside the beltway south of Washington DC has filed a $20 million lawsuit against the company of the driver who hit him.
The 19-year-old filed a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against Green Line Moving Company of Baltimore over a 2014 crash that claimed Green Line was negligent for hiring a driver with a poor driving record. The complaint also alleged the truck driver failed to follow Virginia’s move over law, was using a cellphone and the truck’s brakes were defective.
If you have been hurt in a tow trucking accident or any other trucking accident, call our Virginia trucking accident attorneys for a free consultation at (866) 455-6657.