Truck driver fatigue is one of the more common causes of tractor trailer collisions. Too often the trucking industry pushes drivers to complete deliveries on impossible schedules, falsifying their logs if necessary to look legal if they are stopped. Over the years as a trial lawyer specializing in interstate trucking accident cases, I have heard truck drivers’ stories of economic pressure to break the hours of service laws. This is one of the factors that makes truck driving a dangerous occupation.
I don’t know if that is what led to a fatal crash this week just across the state line on I-85 in Anderson County, SC. However, authorities in Anderson County have already concluded that a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel causing a wreck that killed three people. According to the coroner, an autopsy ruled out a stroke or heart problem.
South Carolina state troopers report that a big rig driven by Eddie Wyatt, 69,of Rockmart, Ga., was southbound on I-85, when it careened across the median into the northbound lanes, crashing head on into another tractor trailer head on. The second 18 wheeler jack-knifed and struck an SUV and a pick-up truck.
Both tractor trailer drivers, Wyatt and , Clay Johnson, 38 of Charlotte, N.C., were killed.
The third fatality was Jeremy Wilson, 33, a lawyer in Lincolnton, N.C., who was driving a Toyota Tundra towing a fishing boat on a trailer.
Curtis and Beverly Schulze, were airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital. They were released on Sunday.
Ken Shigley is an Atlanta-based trucking accident trial attorney, handling interstate trucking accident cases throughout the southeast under the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules of each state. A graduate of Furman University in Greenville, SC, and Emory University Law School in Atlanta, Shigley is a board certified civil trial lawyer of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a national board member of the Commercial Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, and president of the State Bar of Georgia.