- posted: Apr. 10, 2014
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
In May of 2013, George and Kathleen Weed of Pittsford, New York were northbound on Interstate 81 in Pennsylvania on a Friday afternoon. Moving in stop-and-start traffic, Mr. and Mrs. Weed were behind a tractor-trailer, itself following another tractor-trailer. Tragedy followed just moments later.
Driving a tractor-trailer on I-81, Muniru Iddress, of Lancaster, PA, approached slowing traffic in the same lane as the Chevy Tahoe carrying Mr. and Mrs. Weed. Records obtained by law enforcement show Mr. Iddress was traveling 55 miles per hour and texting in four conversations. Because he was allegedly distracted by texting, Mr. Iddress’ truck slammed into the back of the Chevy Tahoe.
On impact, the Chevy Tahoe struck the back of the tractor-trailer in front of it, which in turn struck the tractor-trailer in front of it. Mrs. Weed died on the scene. Her husband, Mr. Weed died two days later from his injuries.
Following investigation of the accident, along with traffic violations, Mr. Iddress was arraigned in January on the following criminal charges:
- Two counts of homicide by vehicle
- Reckless endangerment
- Involuntary manslaughter
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) notes drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle while texting increase their risk of accident by 23 times compared to nontexting truck operators. Because of the potential for serious or fatal accidents, FMSCA prohibits commercial truck drivers from texting while driving.
In addition to criminal charges faced by Mr. Iddress, a civil case for wrongful death could be brought by family and relatives of the couple who were killed. Involvement of the trucking company responsible for the safe operation of the truck is likely.
On a day in May, a couple lost their lives because a truck driver texted. If you or a loved one is killed or injured in a truck accident in the United States, speak with an experienced Atlanta-based law firm that can help.