Laptop computer use while driving big rig suspected in NY wreck that killed young mom
As a trucking safety trial lawyer, based in Atlanta, Georgia,representing people in personal injury and wrongful death cases, I am scheduled to speak on truck driver distraction issues to the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group at Vancouver, British Columbia, in July.
I was therefore quite interested in a recent report of a truck accident on the New York Thruway near Pembroke, New York, when a young mother of two sons was killed on Christmas Eve. She was a teacher of special needs children and had sons ages 3 and 1. According to a Buffalo News report, she had just dropped off her older son at a relative's house in Rochester (where my daughter attends RIT), and was on her way to finish her Christmas shopping.
New York State Police are investigating whether the truck driver was using his laptop computer when he crashed into the young mom's car, which was disabled after striking a deer. Other vehicles had swerved around her but the trucker did not.
Electronic distractions are a huge issue in traffic safety, particularly in trucking. Cell phones, text messaging, and the various electronic devices for communication with trucking dispatchers, are increasingly subjects of study.
Ken Shigley is a trucking safety trial attorney representing seriously injured people and families of people killed in tractor trailer, big rig, semi, intermodal container freight, cement truck, dump truck and bus accidents statewide in Georgia. Involvement in individual cases in other states is undertaken in strict compliance with the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules of each state.
He served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute in 2005, is a national board member of the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, and is on the National Advisory Board for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.
Mr. Shigley has extensive experience representing parties in interstate trucking collision cases, and in the past two years has spoken at national interstate trucking litigation seminars in Chicago (trucking insurance), New Orleans (trial tactics and side underride issues), St. Louis (punitive damages), San Francisco (dealing with insolvent trucking companies), Atlanta (trucking insurance, closing argument), Nashville (use of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations), and Amelia Island (overview of trucking litigation).
A Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, he has been listed as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale). In addition to trucking litigation, he has broad experience in products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, spinal cord injury, brain injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is Treasurer and a candidate for President-Elect of the 41,000 member State Bar of Georgia.This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.