As Missouri semi-truck accident lawyers, we know that large, heavy semi-trucks
can act as deadly weapons, particularly when they're involved in collisions
with average-sized passenger vehicles. And when semi-truck operators choose
to drive under the influence, their vehicles become even more dangerous
to other motorists on the road.
Recently, a semi-truck driver was charged with involuntary manslaughter
and two counts of assault after he allegedly caused a fatal crash in Platte County.
According to the
Kansas City Star, 38 year-old Adam Shaw was northbound on Missouri 45 when his tractor-trailer
crossed the highway center line. The semi clipped a pickup truck, forcing
the smaller vehicle to run off the road, and then the semi hit a southbound
minivan head on. The driver of the minivan, 49 year-old Catherine Nienaber,
was pronounced dead at the scene, while her passenger (Nienaber's
seven year-old son) was taken from the scene by ambulance with serious
injuries. The driver of the pickup also suffered non-life threatening
injuries in the incident.
Law enforcement officials say they believe alcohol was a contributing factor
in the accident. Shaw is currently being held in the Platte County Detention
Center on a $250,000 cash bond. Authorities continue to investigate, and
Shaw could face additional criminal charges depending on their findings.
Semi-truck drivers and alcohol use
regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), semi-truck drivers are not allowed to use alcohol or be under the influence
of alcohol within the four-hour period "before going on duty or operating,
or having physical control of, a commercial motor vehicle." They're
also prohibited from using alcohol, being under the influence of alcohol,
or having "any measured alcohol concentration or detected presence
of alcohol" while on the job.
• When drivers are found to have violated these regulations, they
are immediately placed out of service for the following 24 hours, and
they are required to report the incident to their employer (within 24
hours) and to a state official (within 30 days).
• When truck drivers' alcohol use is believed to have contributed
to an accident resulting in injuries or fatalities, drivers are required
to undergo immediate testing for controlled substances and they must submit
to an evaluation conducted by a substance abuse professional. They may
also face suspension and the ultimate loss of their commercial driver's
licenses, along with being subject to criminal charges, their accompanying
penalties, and personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits filed on their
At Aaron Sachs and Associates, our personal injury lawyers represent semi-truck
accident victims throughout Missouri. If you or a loved one has suffered
injury in a crash caused by a truck driver's negligence, it may be
beneficial to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney. Our firm
works on a contingent-fee basis, and we offer a free initial consultation
to discuss your case. For more information, please call our office toll-free
at 1-888-777-AUTO, or click here to submit our convenient "Do I Have
a Case?" form via our website. Offices in Springfield, Joplin, Columbia,
Cape Girardeau and Kansas City.
Attorney meetings by appointment only