Truck Driver Charged in Flying Tire Accident
A Florida truck driver is being charged with negligent homicide after two of his tires unlatched from his truck, striking a Georgia woman’s windshield and killing her instantly. There were three other passengers in the car at the time of the accident, her mother, father, and her son. All three survived but sustained injuries and now have the death of their beloved mother and daughter killed before their eyes emblazoned in their memories forever.
The driver was charged with vehicular homicide and the family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court against the driver, Yurien Chavez Bello of Miami, FL and the company that he worked for US Xpress Transport Corp.
Flying Tire Accidents
Flying tire accidents occur when a tire unlatches from a vehicle and then goes trundling down a roadway into another person or their vehicle. Tractor-trailer tires tend to weigh over 100 lbs. and when they strike a vehicle moving in the opposite direction, as was the case here, they can do an almost unthinkable amount of damage. In some cases, the cabins of vehicles have been peeled back like a can of sardines from such accidents.
Worse still, these accidents are completely avoidable. Federal law makes it mandatory for trucking companies and their drivers to perform routine inspections on their vehicles. Trucking companies are expected to perform diagnostics to ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy prior to leaving for delivery. Truck drivers are expected to perform inspections on their vehicles after every 24 hours out on the road. When they fail in these obligations, tragedies like these are the result. Hence why the driver has been charged in the death of the woman.
Criminal Cases versus Civil Cases
In this instance, there are two lawsuits that have been filed. One, a civil action by the family for wrongful death, while the other is a criminal action brought by the state against the driver. Since the criminal case takes precedence over the civil case, the family will have to wait for their suit to go through until the criminal case is finished. However, a verdict against Chavez for negligent homicide can be used to the family’s advantage as their civil case moves forward while an acquittal of the driver won’t necessarily hurt them at all.
Since criminal cases must be proved according to a higher standard of proof than civil cases, the judgment against the defendant can be entered in the civil case as well saving the family and attorneys a great deal of time. However, just because the driver was acquitted in criminal court, doesn’t mean that he will also be found innocent in civil court. The family needs only prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence while prosecutors must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Talk to a Miami Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident or someone you love has died, the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb P.A. can help you hold the negligent party responsible for their actions. Talk to us today to set up a free consultation.