Speeding on Portland roads and highways is dangerous and often leads to injuries in a truck accident or other type of motor vehicle collision. Nevertheless, a truck driver is under the same duty of reasonable care that applies to all individuals who get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle in Oregon.
A fatal traffic accident occurred last Nov. 25 on Northeast Columbia Boulevard. The crash involved a semi-tractor with a tanker-trailer and two cars, resulting in the death of a 26-year-old woman. The truck driver was accused of speeding and running a red light at the intersection before striking the two vehicles. The driver of the second car that was hit perished in the truck accident.
Local authorities investigated the truck accident, including speaking with the semi-tractor driver and witnesses. Criminal charges were pursued, but the Multnomah County grand jury failed to return an indictment. After the grand jury's decision to forego criminal action against the truck driver, he was cited by authorities for careless driving, driving while suspended and failure to obey a traffic control device.
While family members of the deceased victim may have wanted the man to be held criminally accountable for the fatal Portland collision, they may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the man and perhaps any separate owner of the semi-tractor. Such a claim may seek financial remuneration for expenses related to the accident, along with lost wages of the deceased and related damages. While a life has been senselessly lost forever, the victim's family may find some measure of solace in holding negligent parties fully accountable in civil court.
Source: Portland Tribune, "Driver cited in fatal accident," Jim Redden, Feb. 13, 2012.