By John Cooper, North Carolina Trucking Accident Lawyer
It’s an accident that has shocked the close knit motorcycling community and again highlights the serious issue of fatigue in the trucking industry.
Last week a truck driver, who may have fallen asleep at the wheel, hit six motorcyclists who were parked on the side of Interstate 85 in Greensboro. One biker died at the scene and another died of his serious injuries at a local hospital.
Fox 8 reported on how members of the motorcycling community have created an online petition calling for harsher charges against the tractor-trailer driver involved in the fatal wreck.
The news channel reported on how state troopers believe the 34-year-old trucker from Florida fell asleep at the wheel before hitting the riders. According to prosecutors, the truck was traveling at about 80-85 mph at the time of the accident.
The driver of the tractor trailer was charged with felony hit and run and misdemeanor death. He’s in the Guilford County Jail under a $100,000 bond. State troopers said they believe the only reason the trucker stopped about half a mile up the road is because he had a flat tire from the crash.
This is a truly tragic accident that claimed the lives of Arnie M. Morris, 37, of Woodbridge in Virginia and Kenneth N. Jefferson, 51, of South Chesterfield in Virginia who died Sunday morning at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center after being hospitalized in a critical condition.
The other motorcyclists involved in the crash were Jerome D. Howard, 48, of Woodbridge, Va.; Caroline Campbell, 47, of North Chesterfield, Va.; Michael A. Robinson Sr., 57, of Woodbridge, and Gregory D. Harmon, 44, of Bowie, Md.
Our Virginia injury lawyers are consistent advocates for the rights of motorcyclists and we recently wrote the book What You Need to Know About Motorcycle Accidents in Virginia. I am also licensed to practice law in North Carolina and work on many trucking cases that cross state lines. If a big rig driver falls asleep and kills others on the road, their families have grounds to bring a wrongful death case against the trucker and his trucking company.
However, the media report makes it clear that members of the Ryderz Haven Motorcycle Ministry, are concerned the criminal law is insufficient and the death charges brought against the trucker should be a felony.
“Two lives were lost. Two very important lives,” Diamond Diaz, founder of Ryderz Haven Motorcycle Ministry, was quoted as telling Fox 8. “We have families that were impacted, riders who were impacted and riders who drove past that scene that can tell you it looked like a bomb exploded. Right now, we want justice.”
I have considerable sympathy with these riders who have lost so much. The group has created a change.org petition calling for more severe charges to be brought against the trucker who killed the Black Eagle Ryders. More than 1,600 people have already signed it.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident involving a drowsy truck driver you have rights to sue the trucker and his employer in a wrongful death lawsuit. Call our Virginia and North Carolina trucking accident attorneys for a free consultation at 757.455.0077.