Truck Accident Attorney
The driver of a semi-truck involved in a violent crash is facing several charges, including reckless driving, according to the police department of the Township of Vernon. (https://www.njherald.com/20180812/police-id-victims-in-vernon-tractor-trailer-crash-driver-charged).
Thirty-six-year-old Jose Mercedes was driving a tractor trailer on Route 515 in Vernon when he hit the Chevrolet Tahoe being driven by 42-year-old Christa Duffy. At the time, Duffy was waiting at a traffic light to make a turn into a shopping plaza. Both were sent to an area hospital with serious injuries but have since been discharged
Mercedes was driving for the Volpe Express trucking company, which is based out of Pennsylvania. He received summons for an unsafe lane changing, exceeding the town roadway limit that applies to trucks over four tons, and reckless driving, and more charges may be brought once the investigation is complete. In the area where the crash took place, a 40-mph speed limit applies and non-local trucks over four tons are not permitted
The road was closed for about an hour and a half following the accident, and the main shopping center entrance remained closed for a longer period of time due to the accident investigation and area cleanup involved. Local traffic was directed to use the plaza’s side entrance instead.
According to police, the crash happened when the north-bound truck left the road and went across the parking lot’s grassy area and into the main entrance of the plaza, where it broadsided the Tahoe that was waiting at the light. As a result, the Tahoe was pushed across the entrance way and into a ditch nearby, leaving Duffy trapped inside of her vehicle. Mercedes’ truck also took down the roadside sign for the plaza, which police described as “demolished.”
At the scene, first responders had to use an extraction tool to remove Duffy from her car, and she was flown to a medical center by air ambulance. Local police were assisted by the town’s public works department, who provided a bucket loader that police used to secure the truck so it would not continue to roll away from the accident site. Officers from another police district and the county’s HAZMAT team also responded, in addition to life support units from an area medical center.
The half-mile stretch of Route 515 where this accident occurred has been the location of several other auto accidents, including one just this past May that involved a dump truck full of dirt overturning and spraying the entire road with dirt after a brake failure. This happened at the start of the evening rush hour and resulted in a road closure both ways that lasted for nine hours. Previously, there was a tragic bus accident in the same site that took the lives of six people and injured several others.
Large semi-trucks can cause devastating accidents because of their sheer size and weight. When truck drivers don’t follow the rules of the road, there can be serious consequences for anyone nearby. If you’ve been in an accident with a truck, speak to reliable trucking accident lawyers about your case.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into truck accidents and injuries.