In my law practice in Georgia, I occasionally get calls about tractor trailers that hit someone and do not stop. Identifying and apprehending the hit and run trucker is always a big challenge.
State laws in most states require drivers to change lanes or slow down for emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road. Early Tuesday morning, northbound on I-81 in Virginia, a tractor trailer driver broke that rule, struck a Virginia State Police car on the shoulder of the road, and injured a trooper who had appeared in a TV spot publicizing that law.
According to a rep rot by Marvin Anderson on Roanoke.com, the trooper had stopped another tractor trailer for speeding. According to state police, the trooper’s front and rear emergency lights were activated. The trooper, who was seated in his patrol car, was transported to a hospital in Roanoke, treated and released. The driver of the truck that he had stopped also was sitting in the patrol car at the time of the crash but was not hurt.
Virginia State Police were analyzing footage from the trooper’s dashboard camera searching for the driver of the truck, a dark-colored Freightliner Classic tractor with an extended front. It has either a white or light gray box trailer and likely has significant damage to the right rear of the trailer. The trailer also may have maroon paint on the side where it hit the cruiser, and it may have broken lights and a cut or gash along the trailer.
Given the early morning hours and inattentiveness of the truck driver, one could speculate about the possibility that the trucker was fatigued and operating well beyond his legal hours of service. However, that’s just my "SWAG."
The Virginia police have an unusual advantage in that they at least have dashboard video of the tractor trailer. Perhaps detailed analysis in their state crime lab can tease out of a grainy video a portion of a company name, tag number, or a DOT or motor carrier number. If not, perhaps a bulletin to law enforcement agencies and truck stops across the country can generate leads. I hope they don’t limit the search to truck stops along I-81. By now it could be halfway across the country.
The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia and selectively in other states around the Southeast, in strict compliance with the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice admission rules in each state. Recently elected Secretary of the State Bar of Georgia, Ken Shigley has been designated as a "SuperLawyer" in Atlanta Magazine and one of the "Legal Elite" in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and former chair of both the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, bus wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks.