In 2012 alone, 3,921 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving large commercial trucks. Another 104,000 people were injured. Because of the sheer weight of large commercial trucks, these accidents can be far more deadly than crashes between two ordinary passenger vehicles. Although truck drivers are professional drivers, and they are required to maintain a special license to operate large trucks, truck accidents still occur far more than they ought to. Accidents can be caused by a number of factors, including driver fatigue, speeding or poor weather conditions.
A mother and her two children were killed when a truck driver failed to yield while making an improper left turn. Elizabeth Peralta-Luna and her two young children were attempting to cross a busy intersection at Ashland Street and 43rd Street in Chicago at around 5:00 PM on Friday March 6th. The children, Elizabeth and Dylan, were nine and four, respectively. As they attempted to cross the street in the crosswalk, a semi-truck entered the intersection, striking and killing them. According to the Chicago Tribune, that truck driver was 23-year-old Zachary Barngrover of Iowa.
Maricela Ruiz is the aunt of Elizabeth Peralta-Luna. Just days after the tragic accident, Ruiz filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her niece, great-niece and great-nephew. According to her lawyer, Thomas Pakenas, the lawsuit was filed quickly in order to provide attorneys subpoena power and to allow them access to information from the trucking company and police. The lawsuit seeks wrongful death damages from the driver and his trucking company, Monson and Sons Inc. According to the lawsuit, the driver may have been using his cell phone at the time of the accident. The driver was cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and for making an improper left turn. He was released on his own recognizance and will be in court on those charges on April 15.