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Driver fatigue cause of fatal truck accident in North Carolina

The early morning hours can be both a blessing and a curse for drivers on North Carolina's roadways.  While there are fewer vehicles on the roads, the likelihood of coming across a drunk or fatigued driver increases dramatically.  It's a grim fact Smithfield residents were reminded of this month after a 47-year-old man was killed in a tractor-trailer crash along Interstate 95 on the first day of June.

The fatal truck accident occurred just after 4:30 am, killing the 47-year-old passenger and injuring the driver.  While driving southbound along Interstate 95, the driver says he fell asleep behind the wheel which caused the tractor-trailer to crash into the center guardrail.

Although the North Carolina Highway Patrol has charged the man with careless and reckless driving and a misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, the fate of the negligent driver may not just include criminal charges.  In similar cases, families of accident victims killed in crashes such as this have sought legal representation in order to gain compensation for their loved one's wrongful death.  Although it's unknown whether this will happen in this case or not, it's important for North Carolina residents to know that reckless driver's should be held accountable for their actions, especially if it was caused by negligence.

It's also worth noting that the investigation could turn up evidence that would suggest that the trucking company may be at fault.  Perhaps they had not scheduled an adequate amount of time for rest between the driver's shifts leading to his extreme fatigue.  If this ends up being the case, the victim's family may want to seek compensation from the trucking company, holding them responsible for allowing such negligence to occur in the first place.

Source: wral.com, "One killed in truck crash on I-95 near Smithfield," Bridget Whelan, June 1, 2013