A widow and her children have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a truck driver and his employer, looking to get justice in the aftermath of a horrific accident that killed a beloved husband and father on Sept. 11, 2019. Filed in Passaic County Superior Court in Oct. 2019, this case is requesting both compensatory and punitive damages from the defendants.
Details of the Deadly Bicycle Accident
According to the complaint, the victim, a 53-year-old man, was riding his bicycle on Black Oak Ridge Road in Wayne, NJ, close to Hubbardton Road. Just after 1:30 p.m., two tires on a fully loaded, 40-ton dump truck that was near the victim suddenly blew out.
A piece of one tire detached, hitting the victim and pushing him onto the ground. Although the victim survived the impact, his injuries rendered him unconscious and, ultimately, killed him 12 days later.
Follow-Up Investigation Reveals Issues with the Truck & the Tires
After the deadly accident, New Jersey State Police initiated an investigation, looking to determine liability for the crash and whether criminal negligence may have been involved. Upon inspecting the truck, they reportedly found that:
- The truck was overweight: The fully loaded truck was carrying too much asphalt at the time of the accident. This caused it to exceed the axle weight limits by about 8,680 pounds.
- The tires were not in good shape: In addition to being flat, some tires were leaking air. In fact, inspectors noted “audible” noise coming from some tires.
- The truck had several other issues: In total, 11 issues were recorded. Although some of these issues may have been unrelated to the fatal accident, the excess weight and tire problems do stand out as factors that likely were involved in causing the tire blowouts that led to the death.
In light of these findings, the wrongful death lawsuit was updated to include more defendants. Along with the truck driver and DLS Contracting (the motor carrier), the complaint names two other defendants: an auto shop (where the tire was purchased) and a quarry (where the truck was loaded).
Notably, the truck driver has not been charged with a crime in this case due to “insufficient evidence” of vehicular homicide. Regardless of whether a criminal case does come to fruition, it will have no impact on the ongoing lawsuit.
With the case underway, pre-trial proceedings have been ongoing, and the trial may start soon. It remains to be seen whether any of the defendants
will try to settle before or during the trial—and whether the plaintiffs will end up seeing justice and financial recovery from this case.
Despite all of the unknowns, however, one thing is certain—filing a wrongful death case following tragedies like these can be a powerful way for families to:
- Try to hold at-fault parties liable for the devastating, irreversible losses they’ve caused
- Bring awareness to the preventable negligence that causes accidents like this one
- Obtain some financial resources so they can focus on healing
After an Accident, a Hackensack Injury Attorney at DAME Legal Can Help You Seek Justice
Serious motor vehicle accidents can shatter lives and families. When it’s time to pick up the pieces and seek justice for crashes caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s time to contact a car accident attorney at DAME Legal.
Call 201-968-5800 or email us now for a free consultation and answers about your legal options.
With DAME Legal in your corner, you can be confident that you have a skilled lawyer on your side, committed to helping you get justice. We are proud to provide the same type of representation we would expect if we were in your shoes, and we have what it takes to set even the most complex cases up for success.