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The North Carolina Highway Patrol has charged a tractor trailer driver in an accident that killed a teenager in Gaston County last week.

State troopers reported that the driver of the big rig was pulled over on the shoulder of I-85, a few miles south of Bessemer City. As he merged back into traffic, he pulled into the path of a box truck. The driver of the small truck swerved and slammed into the rear of the trailer, killing the teenage passenger. The driver of the box truck was the teen’s father.

The tractor trailer driver has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle; the charges could be upgraded to felony involuntary manslaughter when the investigation is complete. 

Our View

Our hearts go out to the family of the teenager in this terrible truck accident. As truck accident attorneys in North Carolina and Virginia, we know the importance of truck drivers obeying the rules of the road to prevent accidents.

The Virginia Commercial Driver’s Manual stresses the importance of truck drivers using their mirrors to check traffic around them. This is especially important when changing lanes, merging, and seeing where the rear of the vehicle is when making turns.

Truck drivers also should know that it takes a long time for a big rig to get up to highway speed, so they have to use special caution when merging back into traffic.

When a truck driver does not obey the rules of the road to the letter, serious injuries and death often result. While there is nothing that can be done to bring back the truck accident victim, a wrongful death lawsuit can be useful to provide essential funds for the family. There are often several insurance policies in effect in a truck accident, and those policies can be tapped to provide compensatory damages for those left behind.

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