A 20-year-old man lost his life in a bizarre accident in Cleveland on February 6. The man was in a crosswalk when the driver of a box truck lost control of his vehicle on some ice and went off the road. The driver hit a utility pole, struck a bus stop sign, and two more utility poles. The truck then veered back into the road and hit the pedestrian.
During the crash, the side of the truck was sheared off, causing two unsecured motorcycles to fall out of the truck onto the pedestrian. He was later pronounced dead at an area hospital. The driver initially fled from the scene, but later returned to surrender to authorities. The case has been turned over to prosecutors to consider charges against the driver.
Who is liable in a bad weather accident?
This might look like a bizarre but tragic truck accident on the surface. After all, if bad weather is responsible for the crash and subsequent falling cargo, can you really assign liability?
Yes, you can.
Drivers have a duty to other vehicles and pedestrians to drive safely and appropriately under all weather conditions, and that includes snow and ice. We are all aware of the dangers of winter weather and snow and ice, and should be able to adjust our driving to keep ourselves and others safe. In fact, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in Oechsle v. Hart that “skidding upon a wet or icy roadway due to bad road conditions alone does not excuse a driver from operating his vehicle upon the right side of the roadway.” In this court case, a vehicle left its lane after hitting an unexpected patch of ice, and crashed into a car in the opposite direction. There was no other evidence of bad road conditions.
A reasonable person should know that if it’s snowing and/or roads are icy, they should be driving with extra caution by traveling at a lower speed. They should also know if their vehicle isn’t equipped to safely travel in winter conditions. And, they should know whether or not they have the driving experience to navigate winter weather conditions safely. These are all issues that your attorney should investigate.
This particular truck accident brings up even more questions of liability. Did the unsecured motorcycles contribute to the pedestrian’s death? If so, who loaded the bikes on the truck? The driver? A warehouse worker? The company that owns the motorcycles? And there’s also the fact that the driver initially left the scene of the accident, which could potentially bring additional charges.
If you were injured, or someone you love was killed, in a truck accident, the Kentucky and Ohio truck accident lawyers at Crandall & Pera Law are here to help you achieve justice. We have the resources and skills to hold all responsible parties accountable for wrongful death and serious injuries. Please call our Ohio office at 877-686-8879, or in Kentucky at 877-651-7764. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule a no-obligation consultation.