Early this week, a North Carolina truck driver was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run accident on the George Washington Bridge. One person was killed, and two others were seriously injured in the crash.
The bridge, which is sometimes called the “GW Bridge” or the “GWB,” is a very heavily traveled, double-decked, suspension bridge that crosses the Hudson River between the states of New York and New Jersey.
Its primary function is serve motor vehicle traffic between the New Jersey city of Fort Lee and the Manhattan area of New York City, although its upper deck also allows pedestrian and bicycle traffic. It was the subject of the 2013 “Bridgegate” scandal, which involved the closure of certain toll lanes leading to the bridge.
Fatal Hit-and-Run Accident
According to a media report, the accident happened when the trucker rear-ended a vehicle driven by a 25-year-old man. The man was killed in the wreck, and two female passengers were critically injured. Although the truck driver left the scene of the accident, his truck was later found by police. It was reportedly very heavily damaged in the front.
The operator of the truck, a 23-year-old man from Durham, North Carolina, was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence after officers allegedly determined that he had a blood alcohol content of .06%. Under the applicable state law, the “legal limit” is .04% for the driver of a commercial motor vehicle.
What Happens Next
Although the trucker has been arrested, this does not equate to a guilty verdict. Unless he enters a voluntary plea agreement, he will likely stand trial within the next year or two (depending upon the trial court’s backlog of cases). The burden will be on the State to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If he is convicted, he is likely to face jail time, fines, the loss of his driving privileges, and other penalties.
Additionally, the accident victims and their families may, at some point in the future, pursue a civil action against the trucker and the trucking company that employed him. If the injured passengers can prove a case of negligence, they may be entitled to damages such medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The deceased driver’s family may pursue a wrongful death action to recover funeral and burial costs, along with other damages. If the driver is convicted of driving under the influence, there may also be the possibility of punitive damages, although such damages tend to be the exception rather than the rule in negligence cases.
If You Have Lost a Loved One in a Truck Accident
Truck accidents cost far too many lives on our roadways each year. To talk to an experienced North Carolina truck accident attorney about seeking compensation following the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of a trucking company or professional truck operator, call Nagle & Associates at (800) 411-1583. We represent families throughout North Carolina, and someone is always available to take your call.
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