Johnna Smith, Timothy Brown Injured In White County Truck Accident On Route 1

Johnna Smith, of National City, Timothy Brown, of National City, Critically Injured In White County Semi-Truck Accident Along Route 1

Johnna Smith, Timothy Brown Injured In White County Truck Accident On Route 1

WHITE COUNTY, ILLINOIS (April 15, 2022) – Two people identified as Johnna Smith and Timothy Brown were injured in a White County semi-truck accident along Route 1.

White County police officials are saying that the collision took place around 7:40 a.m. on Thursday. A 46-year-old driver in a tractor trailer truck cross the center line and collided with a Nissan driven by Johnna Smith and her passenger Timothy Brown.

The force of the impact caused the Nissan to then hit a Subaru. Johnna Smith, Timothy Brown and the driver of the Subaru were all flown to a regional hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Police interviewed the driver of the big rig truck who remained at the scene. They were cited for improper lane usage as well as a logbook violation.

Liability In Illinois Semi-Truck Accidents

Thousands of people are killed or seriously injured in semi-truck accidents every year. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), over 5,000 trucks were involved in a fatal crash in 2019 alone. Pedestrians and those in passenger vehicles made up the majority of victims. Operating a commercial truck is substantially more difficult than driving a passenger vehicle. There are a number of steps that truck drivers should take in order to have a safe ride.

  • Truck drivers should receive adequate rest before the start of their shift.
  • Truck drivers should ideally plan their routes in advance.
  • Truck drivers should abstain from any medications that could potentially impair them.

Commercial truck drivers must receive a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and are held to a high standard in terms of safety. They must follow all rules set forth in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This includes maintaining an accurate logbook of their working hours. Logbook violations could occur (1) if a truck driver worked more than 11 hours without resting, (2) if a truck driver worked more than 14 hours from the start of their shift, (3) if a truck driver worked more than 60 hours in a week, or (4) failed to keep accurate records of their hours.

Failing to follow commercial vehicle safety guidelines is dangerous  and dramatically increases the odds of a collision. Fatigued truck drivers are more likely to make dangerous errors such as unsafe lane changes. Pursuant to Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-709),  a vehicle shall be driven entirely within a single lane and shall not move from that lane unless such movement can be made with safety. Serious traffic infractions or logbook violations could impair a truck driver’s ability to maintain their CDL. It may also form the basis of a negligence claim.

If a truck driver was working at the time of a collision, the company that they were working for could be held at fault. In general, companies are liable for the negligent actions of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. Many truck companies will try to evade liability for crashes by hiring drivers as “independent contractors.” However, many truck drivers are misclassified as independent contractors. There are many items that should be investigated after any truck accident.

  • The employment status of the truck driver should be understood.
  • The truck driver’s logbook should be examined.
  • In certain circumstances, truck drivers should be tested to see if they are impaired.
  • A truck’s event data recorder (EDR) should be examined.

The FMCSA requires commercial trucks to carry between $750,000 to $5,000,000 worth of liability coverage. Trucks that carry hazardous materials will typically need higher insurance limits. Any person that is injured due to the negligent actions of a truck driver may have legal recourse through a bodily injury claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, truck companies will fight hard to deny responsibility for any collision. A truck accident attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.

Investigating A Illinois Semi-Truck Accident

We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our best wishes to Johnna Smith, Timothy Brown and the driver of the Subaru. It is our sincere hope that they will all be able to make a full recovery. This was a senseless and preventable accident that should not have taken place. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to the White County police department.

Have you or someone that you care about been injured due to the negligent actions of a truck driver? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of consumer safety advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that trucking companies are held to account for their actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free investigation into an accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.