A United States Marine died in a car crash on Sept. 29 after a dump truck struck his vehicle, according to reports. The victim was headed back to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, following a 20-day medical leave in Ohio. The male dump truck driver was the only other individual involved in the crash.
According to the Crawford County authorities, the collision took place when the 48-year-old truck driver veered off the right side of the road and swerved back. The 2005 Ford dump truck then crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with the 23-year-old Marine's Chevrolet Impala head-on. The man suffered fatal injuries including multiple broken bones and intestinal damage. There are no details on the dump truck driver's condition.
The Marine was transported to a St. Vincent's hospital where he remained in critical condition until he died on Oct. 1. Police have not stated if the dump truck driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs as the investigation is still ongoing.
Annually, over 5,000 people die and another 130,000 people are injured in collisions involving heavy commercial vehicles like dump trucks. Charges are not always filed in these cases because driver negligence can be difficult to determine.
Even if criminal charges are not filed against the driver in this case, the family may still choose to pursue a wrongful death claim. While it will not replace the loss of a loved one, a successful wrongful death suit may allow family members to receive damages for their pain and suffering and to cover any outstanding medical expenses and funeral expenses. A personal injury attorney who understands state and federal trucking regulations might provide guidance and representation to families who want to pursue financial compensation.
Source: Strategic Highway Safety Plan, 'Volume 13: A Guide for Reducing Collisions Involving Heavy Trucks"
Source: MansfieldNewsJournal, "Marine dies after Monday crash", Lou Whitmire, October 01, 2014