In June of 2015, truck driver Benjamin Brewer claimed six lives and changed the lives of many others forever. He was driving on Interstate 75 in Tennessee when he failed to slow down and stop in a construction zone. He plowed into eight vehicles, killing six and injuring many more. An investigation showed that he had been using methamphetamines at the time of the crash, and had been cited for careless driving in Florida the day before the Tennessee crash. At the time of the Florida accident it was shown that he had been driving for 45 straight hours. Following the accidents, multiple lawsuits were filed against Brewer and his employers citing millions of dollars in damages following their failure to administer drug tests, as well as a failure to show reasonable care in hiring Brewer in the first place. This week the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) weighed in on the accident, ruling that it was caused by a combination of speed, drugs, and fatigue.
The NTSB’s official statement cited “performance detriments likely associated with his fatigue and methamphetamine use. Contributing to the crash was the failure of the pre-employment screening process to identify driver risk factors. Contributing to the severity of the crash was the high-impact speed.”
Speaking of the accident and the broader impact of truck driver and trucking company negligence, NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said,
“Crashes on our roads and highways take 30,000 lives every year. Today we discussed one crash and issued and reiterated recommendations that, if implemented, might prevent many others.”
Specifics that they included in their report were the fact that Brewer was traveling at a speed of 80 miles per hour, that he had tested positive for methamphetamines, and that he had gone more than 40 hours without sleep. Additionally, he had an extensive record of traffic crashes, including seven over the previous five years.
NTSB Managing Director Thomas Zoeller pointed directly to the failures of the trucking company, saying, “Contributing to the crash was the failure of the pre-employment screening process to identify driver-risk factors. Had Cool Runnings Express Inc. used pre-employment hair drug tests, it would likely have been notified of the truck driver’s methamphetamine use.”
Truck driver fatigue, drug use, distraction, and more lead to deadly results. The drivers are responsible, and so are those who hire them and who fail to properly train, test, or monitor them. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed as a result of a truck accident, the truck crash lawyers at Danziger & De Llano can help.
Call us today at 1-800-411-7411 to set up a free consultation to discuss your eligibility to file a personal injury lawsuit and get the compensation that you deserve.