“My investigations reveal this is a pretty dirty trucking company,” said Rocky McElhaney, Lead Attorney and Owner at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm.
On April 28, 2016, Spirit Truck Lines’ careless and rule-breaking driver senselessly took the life of 65 year-old TDOT worker David Younger, and injured three other TDOT workers. Before this incident, the Texas trucking company had already reported 20 crashes in the last two years and has been cited 66 times for violating hours of service laws.
By law, truck drivers keep log books to show how long they’ve been driving, when they’ve rested and when they’ve weighed in. Attorney McElhaney’s investigations reveal that Candelario Castillo, the driver for Spirit Truck Lines, kept two active log books; one that reported that he was resting and another that reported he was working. McElhaney says that this is a common practice in the trucking industry to manipulate and intentionally break federal laws.
Consistent with the allegations in the lawsuit, witness reports from the day of the crash show that Castillo was speeding and swerving just before his 18-Wheeler crashed into the TDOT queue.
“I mean these are loaded missiles at 80,000 pounds,” Rocky McElhaney told WZTV Fox 17 News Reporter Jen French. This comment was referencing the 18-wheeler that ended one man’s life and forever changed 3 others.
McElhaney’s clients are the three survivors of the crash: 22 year old, Santana Smith, who was life lighted to Vanderbilt with head and low back injuries, 59 year-old Carl Smotherman and 50-year old Dorthea Rye suffered head and back injuries. Dorthea may now need surgery from her injuries in the wreck. Smotherman is traumatized by his personal horrific account of watching his friend and co-worker die in front of him.
“These Department of Safety and Transportation employees are out there working so that all of us are safer and they deserve for the trucking company coming through Tennessee to also be safe.” McElhaney concluded in a statement to WTVF Channel 5 News.
Trucking wrecks have become a needless danger across Tennessee and nationwide. The filing of this multi-million dollar lawsuit by the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm against the driver who caused this fatal wreck and the trucking company who contributed to it was publicized on 4 different news stations (WKRN, WZTV, WSMV and WVTF) across the mid-state.
What the media knows is that people want to see justice brought to Younger’s family and the survivors. They want to see tighter regulations put on trucking companies to properly vet and train their drivers. People want to know semi-trucks on the road have been properly inspected and maintained and that today’s drivers are keeping an accurate log book with resting and working hours well within the federal limits placed on drivers. And the family of David Younger wants everyone to know that the “Move Over Law,” which requires drivers to change lanes away from stop emergency personnel and road workers, is in place for a reason and that their husband and father died illustrating how important it is. Younger’s daughter Sarah told WKRN News Channel 2, “[t]hey are giving you rules and laws to keep people safe, especially people like TDOT workers who are people like my dad,” she said. “They have families at home. They have children and they have wives.”
Involved in a trucking accident in Tennessee? We can help
Trucking accidents are devastating, catastrophic and often, as in this case, fatal. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a trucking accident in Tennessee or abroad, please call the experienced and compassionate personal injury and wrongful death trucking accident attorneys Rocky McElhaney Law Firm.
Trucking and transportation laws are complicated; choosing the right lawyer for your needs shouldn’t be. The Rocky McElhaney Law firm in Nashville fights for your rights when you’ve suffered an injury because of a truck accident. To schedule a free initial consultation, please call (615) 425-2500 or if it’s more convenient for you, fill out our contact form. We are proud to help clients from all over Tennessee and the Southeast including Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Memphis, Columbia, Knoxville, Hendersonville and Kingsport. We fight to obtain the maximum award. We fight for justice. We fight for you!