Trucker Facing Criminally Negligent Homicide Charge

Semi-truck drivers must follow federal and state transportation codes when on the roads. These standards cover all aspects of hauling a tractor trailer: noise standards, weight regulations, drug testing requirements, hazardous material handling, truck parts requires for safe operation, hours of work, parking rules, and more. Violating these codes can result in disciplinary action, and sometimes legal charges brought against the truck driver and/or the trucking company they work for.

Recently in San Antonio, a trucker has been charged with criminally negligent homicide for his involvement in a crash that resulted in one man’s death. This is a rare charge to be brought against a driver in a fatal crash. Police say the truck driver stopped the 18-wheeler he was driving in the left lane on the freeway because he thought he had sideswiped a vehicle. He got out of his truck, and failed to immediately place reflective warning triangles around his tractor-trailer. A second semi-truck crashed into the parked truck, killing the second truck driver. A pickup truck then crashed into the back of the second semi-truck, injuring the driver inside.

The truck driver being charged had only received his commercial driver’s license one year prior. Police say the driver violated a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulation, which states that drivers must display reflective warning triangles on the highway as soon as possible. Police say the driver also violated Texas Transportation Code, which instructs drivers to move their vehicles from the main lanes of the freeway as soon as possible, to reduce interference with traffic.

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