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Crash reportedly caused by truck driver's falling asleep

The cause of a fatal accident involving a semi-truck, school bus and car in Washington was reported recently. According to sources, police believe the truck driver involved in the accident caused it after he allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel.

The accident reportedly occurred on a rural highway in Washington. The driver apparently crossed the center line, striking a car and a school bus. The collision resulted in the death of the car's driver, and numerous injured school children who had to be transported to the hospital for treatment.

According to the Washington State Patrol, the same driver was cited a year ago for causing an injury accident in which he also was alleged to have crossed the center line in the same area. The car's driver in this case was pronounced dead, and 43 school children, a 12-year-old passenger in the car and both the truck and bus driver all required treatment for their injuries. Law enforcement officers are waiting for the results of toxicology tests from the truck driver in order to determine if alcohol or drugs played any role.

Truck accidents may be especially catastrophic, given the sheer weight and size of commercial trucks. For that reason, drivers and commercial carriers have strict regulations governing how they operate trucks on the nation's highways. In the event people are seriously injured in an accident caused by a truck driver, the injured people may hold both the driver as well as his or her employer liable through filing personal injury lawsuits. In the event the carrier negligently employed a known unsafe driver or required a driver to drive beyond the allowed hours, the carrier may have to pay damages to those who are injured.

Source: ABC News, "Officials: Truck driver fell asleep in fatal collision," March 5, 2015

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