Runaway trucks pose a danger to anyone unfortunate to be in their path. Even a smaller truck, such as a dump truck, can be a serious threat to nearby property and witnesses. A recent accident in Greene County, New York, shows how a truck that loses its braking power can be extremely destructive.
Two homes located on State Route 23 in Ashland, were reduced to rubble by a dump truck that was unable to obey a stop sign on Highway 23. The truck was fully loaded with asphalt and, according to police, was attempting to negotiate a steep grade on West Settlement Road. When the truck reached the Highway 23 intersection, it ran through the stop sign and crashed into a vacant house on the far side of the highway. The crash ignited a fire that destroyed both buildings. According to police on the scene, the truck driver was using the brakes constantly, and either the brakes failed, or the braking pressure was not sufficient to stop the truck. The driver of the truck was declared dead at the scene.
The experience of the couple who occupied the second dwelling had a much happier tale to tell. The wife of the couple said that she typically returns home at the approximate time of the accident. On this day, however, she was required to work late and was not in the house when it was destroyed by the fire. The family had several pets, including three dogs and a cat. All perished in the fire.
The two houses that were destroyed were presumably covered by fire insurance; however, the insurers may deny coverage or otherwise reduce the amount they are willing to pay on these claims. The family of the deceased driver will be entitled to death benefits from her employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Further investigation may reveal that the truck had defective brakes and was not owned by the employer. In such cases, the legal owner of the truck may be liable for failure to provide adequate maintenance.,
Anyone who has suffered an injury or lost a loved one under similar circumstances may benefit from consulting an experienced accident attorney for an evaluation of the evidence and an opinion on the likelihood of recovering damages.