Kentucky State Police responded to a three-vehicle crash in Bell County on the afternoon of March 24. The scene was pure chaos; an overturned pickup truck was leaking gas on to the roadway, a short distance from a nearly unrecognizable Nissan Maxima and a driverless 18-wheeler. A passerby was helping to extricate three adults and a child from the pickup truck, but nothing could be done to help the two occupants of the small car.
Kentucky State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement worked to reconstruct the accident. Through investigation, officers found that the big rig was traveling north on US 119 when it crossed the centerline. The 18-wheeler sideswiped and overturned the pickup truck, then continued on a short distance before striking the Nissan Maxima. The occupants of the car, Lavondia Hensley, 31, and James Miracle, 64, were killed instantly.
He ran but couldn’t hide
Officers found the driver of the 18-wheeler, Anthony Wayne Brewer, 42, of Pennington Gap, VA, a short time later. Brewer had checked into the Harlan ARH Hospital with injuries consistent with the accident. CVE Public Affairs Office Steven Douglas told the Harlan Daily Enterprise, “Blood samples were obtained and Brewer was arrested and lodged in the Bell County Detention Center on charges of leaving the scene of an accident and operating on suspended/revoked Commercial Driver’s License.”
Lemar Trucking Company, the owner of the big rig, has been in business for 25 years; somehow, they allowed Brewer to operate a company truck on a suspended license. It was an egregious oversight with fatal consequences. How this happened remains to be seen, but two people are dead and four more were injured at the hands of a man who should not have been in the driver’s seat.
History repeats itself
A quick web search reveals that Brewer behaved similarly in the past. Charges against Brewer from 2008 include operating a vehicle under the influence, failure to maintain insurance, improper registration, fleeing police on foot, and resisting arrest, to name just a few. How anyone could allow this man behind the wheel of a commercial truck defies belief.
In the hands of competent operators, big rigs pose a risk to other drivers on the road by dint of their sheer size. In the hands of incompetent operators, people die. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Crandall & Pera Law are with the families of Lavondia Hensley and James Miracle for the tragic loss they have suffered. It is our sincerest hope that justice will be served and Brewer will be held accountable for his actions.
At Crandall & Pera Law, we work to correct injustice every day. We fight for the rights of victims of negligence; if you or a loved one has suffered an injustice that resulted in an injury, we can fight for you. Contact the experienced Kentucky commercial truck accident attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law today for a free consultation.