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Hahira woman killed in side underride crash when Ohio trucker runs stop sign

A 25 year old Hahira woman was killed on October 20th when an 18 wheeler from Ohio ran a stop sign and her car crashed under the side of the trailer.

Christian Jennings at WALB-TV in Albany, reported that Julie Tyler, who made pictures of school children as a photographer for LifeTouch Portraits, was killed instantly in a side underride with a big rig operated by William Fishbaugh, 61, of Ohio. He was held at the Worth County jail on charges of running a stop sign, reckless driving and first degree vehicular homicide.

According to Georgia State Trooper Scott McClure, “The tractor trailer drug the vehicle down the road about 500 feet.” McClure continued, “He was unfamiliar with the area, but that’s more reason to pay attention while you’re out driving.” .

Fishbaugh is a driver for Dutch Maid Logistics, Inc., based in Willard, Ohio. Dutch Maid is an interstate motor carrier with 91 power units, specializing in refrigerated shipments of fresh produce.

A troubling piece of information is that Dutch Maid has had dramatically unsatisfactory driver safety ratings for each of the last six biannual reporting periods. Moving violation data on Dutch Maid during that time period does not identify individual drivers. Reports of out of service violations by Dutch Maid drivers have primarily involved violation of driver impairment, fatigue and hours of service rules.

Earlier this year, Dutch Maid lost an appeal of a suit against its former insurance carrier over liability insurance issues arising out of a 2001 Michigan crash caused by an inattentive Dutch Maid driver in which two people were killed.

Dutch Maid Logistics is also a defendant in another negligence lawsuit in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 2008.

Ken Shigley is a trucking safety trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia. 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.

He 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 of the 41,000 member State Bar of Georgia.This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.

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