The plaintiff, a 57-year-old retired firefighter, who had recently taken a job as part-time auto parts delivery-man to supplement his retirement income, was struck from behind while stopped in traffic waiting to make a left turn. The defendant, a commercial trucker, operating a large gravel truck, apparently never saw the plaintiff and slammed into the rear of the plaintiff’s pick-up, at full speed, forcing the plaintiff’s car forward and into a nearby tree. The force of the impact resulted in mechanical asphyxia due to compression of the chest caused by the impact. The deceased was entrapped in the wreckage in a position that severely compromised chest wall movement, leading to cardiac arrest and death.
State and local police investigations into the happening of the incident revealed that the defendant simply never saw the plaintiff’s vehicle prior to impact, and accident reconstruction experts reported no evidence of braking prior to impact.
The plaintiff left behind a wife, four adult children, and five grandchildren.
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