A 50-year-old Pennsylvania truck driver is facing various charges after allegedly falling asleep at the wheel and causing a crash that claimed the lives of two people and left nine others injured on Nov. 19. Police say that they viewed video footage captured by surveillance cameras at a nearby Dunkin' Donuts store to piece together what had happened. The truck accident took place on Route 222 in Maidencreek Township at approximately 6:30 a.m.
According to a police report, the tractor-trailer first struck several vehicles in the southbound lanes of Route 222 before crossing the roadway and striking another two vehicles. The two vehicles had been waiting to exit a parking lot when they were struck. The truck continued on, and it finally came to a rest after pushing the two vehicles against the donut store's sign. A 23-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman were killed in the collision. Emergency response personnel transported nine others to area medical facilities for treatment. A helicopter was called in to transport the most seriously injured.
The truck driver was charged with two counts of homicide by vehicle, two counts of involuntary manslaughter, 10 counts of reckless endangerment and nine counts of aggravated assault. The man's employer, a Berks County recycling company, issued a statement vowing to cooperate with authorities investigating the accident.
Accidents involving large commercial vehicles could result in death or catastrophic injuries, and driver fatigue is often a factor in this type of collision. A personal injury attorney could file a wrongful death lawsuit against a negligent truck driver on behalf of a family who lost a loved one. This kind of litigation may also be filed against trucking companies if it can be shown that they failed to take adequate steps to ensure drivers were properly trained and sufficiently rested.
Source: WFMZ, "Fatal accident closes Route 222 in Berks County", November 19, 2014