Answers to your questions on death on the turnpike
- Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:33 pm (page 4 of 32)
One thought about the disappearing fog - could it have been smoke?
How long had this driver been on the road? Left home driving 6:30 am to 10:30
am. Stopped at truck stop. From 10:30 am to 7:00 pm he ate and slept.
Drove from 7:00 pm until time of accident 12:10 am.
Might he have fallen asleep? Yes.
Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:46 pm (page 5 of 32 - questions on page 7)
Skill of the driver? Commercial Drivers License, many years experience.
Length of time on the job? Many years.
His familiarity with the vehicle? Very familiar.
Had he been trained in this vehicle combination (truck/trailer) and how much
time did he have in this unit prior to the accident? Yes, many years.
Length of time behind the wheel on the day of the accident? See above.
Did his log books ever get reviewed? Yes, but driver did not have at the
accident scene. Mailed to law enforcement three weeks later by driver’s
Did they satisfy an audit? Unknown.
Company name (Swift)? Unknown.
Companies DOT safety rating? Unknown - not admissible.
Was the driver’s paperwork reviewed? See above.
Was he pressured into any haste to get his load delivered? Unknown.
Was it a perishable commodity? Yes.
Was it possible to review any load conformation sheets? Yes, some missing
and truck overloaded at start of trip, but not at time of accident.
Had he called in that day? Unknown.
Was he on schedule and was there an additional load waiting that could have
caused haste? Unknown.
What is the driver’s safety history (required by DOT and available via
subpoena). Unknown - not admissible.
Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 7:38 am (page 8 of 32)
It is reasonable to infer that the trucking company allowed evidence to be
lost since it was non-exculpatory. Is there any indication that they had
knowledge that the driver regularly exceeded posted speed limits by significant
amounts? Unknown - not admissible.
@... wrote: (page 9 of 32)
How were the speeds determined? Crush damage to vehicles, skid marks,
resting place of vehicles, resting location.
How good was the evidence? Reliable.
What is the typical speed for this area, irrespective of the speed limit? At
or near the posted speed.
(Page 12 of 32)
Was the bus equipped with a radio, or did the driver (or a passenger) have a
cell phone, that could have brought help? Yes, cell phone.
Wouldn’t the safer course have been to call for help and repair the tire,
rather than endangering the passengers by getting back on the road?
The plaintiff’s expert will argue that the purpose of dual tires is to allow
the bus to continue to be operational even with a flat tire. But is that
Can the defense argue that the real purpose of dual tires is simply to carry
the weight load, not to allow continued operation? Yes, both purposes are
Can the defense argue that, at best, having dual tires allows the bus to move
to safety in the event of a blow-out or a flat, not to continue operating as
if all is well? Yes, it allows the bus to move to safety. Safety was only
two miles away - turnpike service plaza. Bus was able to be driven without
Subject: Re: Death on the turnpike-goes to trial Monday (page 18 of 32)
A few visibility related questions that may assist you:
Did the bus display any retro-reflective material to the rear? Yes, hazard
lights were on.
What color or colors was the bus painted? Different paint colors have
different levels of visibility. White bus.
What was the lunar display? Two days from full moon.
I assume the headlights on the truck were inspected to determine if they were
functional prior to the impact? Yes, they were functional.
Was the road surface worn or new concrete? More worn than new.
(Signed, Good luck, Dr. Stephen S. Solomon)
Subject: RE: Death on the turnpike- What Dxx Said. (page 23 of 32)
How were the speeds determined? See above.
How good was the evidence? See above.
What is the typical speed for this area, irrespective of the speed limit?
Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:21 pm (page 25 of 32)
Can weather conditions as to fog be contested by a weather expert and has
there ever been a historical report of any fog at that location? The official
weather records show a clear night, no fog.
Have the trucker’s mileage/time on road logs been checked? Yes, but after
the fact, two-three weeks later.
Was he checked for any drugs and or alcohol? No.
Has an investigator looked into the relationship between the defendants
witness truck driver who also reported seeing the fog? Yes, other than common bond
of truck driving, no relation found.
Has the witness truck drivers mileage/time on road log been checked? See
(page 26 of 32)
Defendants criminal and drug history been discovered if any? Yes, felony
His tickets or infractions in every state that he drives or passes through
been investigated to show a history of speeding? Unknown - not admissible.
Also his mileage book, does it have a history of being on road too long
without rest? No.
Opinion #2 (page 31 of 32)
As far as the black box... do you know how much voltage is required to keep
the memory alive? Once truck battery dies, is lost, memory is lost as to speed
information, engine rpm’s, and other important information is lost.
Have you checked to see if the information would actually be lost if the
battery died? Yes, information lost once battery dies.
Opinion #3 (page 31 of 32)
As for that fog... have you checked with the FAA? If there was any
significant fog, there should have been a NOTAM - Notice to Airmen. Weather records do
not report fog. Rescue helicopters landed at scene.
does this make a difference to anyone?
Opinion #4 (page 31-32 of 32)
With regard to speed calculations...what’s his driving record like? Unknown
- not admissible.
Has he ver sued/been sued before for anything? Unknown - not admissible
Is there any evidence that he ever lied or fabricated evidence in any prior
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