Claude Watson Killed In Clark County Semi-Truck Accident On Interstate 70
Truck Accident - August 7, 2022
Claude Watson, of St. Louis, Missouri, Died In Clark County Semi-Truck Accident On The Interstate 70 Freeway
CLARK COUNTY, ILLINOIS (August 7, 2022) – A truck driver identified as Claude Watson died in a Clark County, Illinois semi-truck accident on Interstate 70.
Illinois State Police are saying that the accident took place around 3:15 a.m. on Saturday. Claude Watson was driving a semi-truck when he was hit by another truck attempting to pass him.
The force of the impact caused both semi-trucks to go off of the highway and into a ditch before going through a steel fence. Claude Watson’s truck overturned and caught fire after the collision.
Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene of the collision in order to help all of the people who sustained injuries. Despite life-saving measures, Claude Watson was pronounce dead at the scene.
Police cited the second truck driver for improper lane usage. A full investigation into the crash remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Clark County Semi-Truck Accidents
Driving a tractor-trailer truck remains one of the most dangerous jobs in America. More than one in seven on-the-job deaths every year occur in heavy trucking. According to one report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 843 truck drivers were killed on the job in 2019. This represents a slight increase from the previous year. There are a number of factors that could potentially contribute to a semi-truck accident.
- Truck drivers are put under an enormous amount of pressure to complete their trips as quickly as possible. Many truck drivers become dangerously fatigued during the course of their work.
- Trucks have large blind spots and a number of collisions are due to drivers than make unsafe lane changes.
- A fully loaded commercial truck can weigh as much as 80,000 lbs. It can take a fully loaded truck traveling at 65 mph the length of two football fields to come to a stop.
Semi-truck drivers must typically get a commercial driver’s license (CDL). They are therefore held to a high standard in terms of safety. However, less experienced truck drivers are more likely to commit serious traffic infractions such as improper lane usage. Pursuant to Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/11-709, no person shall move from a single lane of traffic unless such a movement can be made with reasonable safety. If a truck driver hits another vehicle while making an unsafe turning movement, this could form the basis of a negligence claim.
Depending on the facts of any case, liability for a truck accident could extend beyond an at fault driver. The company that a truck driver worked for could also be held at fault for a collision. Generally speaking, companies are liable for the wrongful acts of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. However, many truck companies try to evade liability for crashes by hiring their drivers as “independent contractors.” There are a number of steps that should be taken after any semi-truck accident.
- The employment status of the at-fault truck driver should be determined.
- The logbook of the at-fault truck driver should be reviewed.
- The event data recorder (EDR) of the at-fault truck driver should be examined.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
The family of any person that is killed due to the negligence of a truck driver may have legal recourse through a wrongful death claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and funeral costs. Unfortunately, though, truck companies will often fight hard to deny responsibility for any collision involving their driver. This is why it is so important that evidence is properly preserved after any accident.
Investigating A Clark County Semi-Truck Accident
We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of Claude Watson. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. This was a preventable tragedy that should have never taken place. There needs to be some accountability for the sake of the victim’s family.
Do you need more information about a Clark County semi-truck accident? Our team of consumer safety advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims get the support and information that they are entitled to under the law. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any collision we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.