$700,000 SETTLEMENT– BIG RIG TRUCK DRIVER BLOCKS HIGHWAY IN DENSE FOG CAUSING DEATH
After delivering his load to a Toys-R-Us warehouse in Stockton, California, a truck driver for Swift Transportation Co. drove his 2001 Freightliner tractor, pulling a 53 foot long trailer in the early morning dense fog so he could drive to a rest stop. He pulled out onto busy Charter Way (State Route 4) into heavy traffic and completely blocked the westbound lane. A 29 year old Hispanic father driving his 6 year old daughter to school could not see that his lane was completely blocked in the fog in time to stop. The father was killed and his daughter was injured when their vehicle went under the trailer. The investigating police officers blamed the deceased father for the accident, stating he was driving too fast in the fog. Our experts reconstructed the accident to show the accident was unavoidable at a lower speed because the trailer completely blocked the road. We argued that the truck driver never attempted to determine the extent of visibility in the fog and should have waited for the fog to clear.