St. Cloud semi crash kills 2, seriously injures another
According to the Star Tribune on March 18, 2017, Thomas L. Findlay, 66, of Sartell, was killed when his taxi he was driving was rear-ended by James D. Cockram, 61, of Owatonna. One of the passengers of the taxi, Emily R. LeTourneau, 22, of Big Lake, was killed and the other passenger, Marche D. Price, 24, of New Hope was seriously injured in the crash.
The taxi, operated by Elite Taxi, was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Highway 10 and St. Germain Street on the east side of St. Cloud when the tractor-trailer driven by Mr. Cockram rear-ended the taxi. The crash occurred at approximately 7:20 a.m. Law enforcement investigators say there is no indication Cockram took any evasive action or applied any braking prior to the crash. Charges are expected to be filed against Cockram.
Minnesota drivers have a responsibility to drive carefully. Unfortunately, many drivers do not drive with the care required of such a potentially dangerous activity. Operating a semi truck and trailer requires a heightened level of awareness due to the inability of such vehicles to slow and stop quickly and due to the disparity in their size in relation to other vehicles on the roadway. Commercial drivers like Mr. Cockram and his company must follow specialized rules designed to protect the motoring public.
It is important to seek immediate assistance from an attorney who specializes in motor vehicle crashes if you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a crash. Time is often critical in documenting and preserving critical evidence. When a crash involves a commercial vehicle it is important to select an attorney with experience in such cases and well versed in the regulations that apply to the commercial trucking industry. The personal injury attorneys at Maschka, Riedy & Ries are adept at analyzing all potential sources of liability and recovery for their injured clients and
represent clients throughout Minnesota and have extensive experience in crashes involving commercial motor vehicles.
Source: Star Tribune, "Charges likely against semi driver who allegedly hit cab at St. Cloud light, killed 2" Paul Walsh, March 18, 2017.
Writen by: Jed Chronic, Maschka, Riedy & Ries Law Firm
South Carolina Crash Victim’s Family sues Ford, Takata
Following up on an earlier post on our blog, Ford and Takata have been sued by the family of a South Carolina man who was killed in a crash. According to KNBC-TV Los Angeles, Joel Knight was killed when a large shard of metal from his airbag entered his neck after a collision with a cow on his way home from work. The Knight family's tragedy is the latest in a long string of deaths and injuries linked to defective Takata airbags.
Joel Knight, 52, was driving home from work three days before Christmas in Kershaw, South Carolina, when he struck a cow in the road. His air bag deployed, rupturing with such force investigators say a large metal shard killed him. A preliminary autopsy report says the cause of Knight' death was a "fatal projectile of the neck probably from the air bag."
The air bags in Knight's 2006 Ford Ranger were manufactured by Takata Corp. of Japan. Knight was the 10th person killed by a Takata air bag, federal regulators say; more than 100 people are believed to have been injured by the defective airbags. As a result, carmakers have recalled more than 20 million cars and trucks nationwide. Knight's car had been recalled for the passenger side air bag, but not the driver's side air bag -- until this Monday, when Ford expanded its recall to include the vehicles with the same model driver's side air bags as the one in Knight's truck
The Knight family has sued Ford and Takata, saying they knew about a 2014 death in Malaysia involving the same air bag model found in Knight's Ford Ranger. The lawsuit claims the Malaysia death lead to an earlier recall in 61 countries.
Although the number of vehicles already recalled is staggering, Mr. Knight's death shows that Takata, and the auto manufacturers who utilized the defective airbags, have not been proactive enough in removing these dangerous airbags from vehicles. This neglect is inexcusable considering the product at issue only exists to prevent injury and save lives in the event of a crash.
A list of vehicles already recalled for defective Takata airbags can be found here.