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Truck driver charged with vehicular homicide and injury by auto


Any fans of Tracy Morgan's likely know that he has been involved in a horrible car accident on the New Jersey turnpike after he was returning from a show in Delaware. The details of the crash are certainly horrific and hopefully Morgan and the others who were injured in the crash recover quickly. Not only were three people injured in the crash, but one comedian was killed, too. As a result, the 35-year-old truck driver accused of causing the crash has been charged with vehicular homicide and injury by auto.

Reports have come in that the driver had not slept in the 24 hours preceding the crash, but his criminal defense attorney may wish to raise the question of whose fault that is. While Wal-Mart, the driver's employer, has said that it believes the driver was not driving in excess of the federally limited driving hours, a closer look at the trucking industry shows that it is very difficult to get the rest necessary to drive safely.

As it is, drivers are only allowed to spend 11 hours behind the wheel, but can work an extra three hours on non-driving responsibilities. This leaves only two hours to eat, spend time with family and do anything else, supposing a driver gets the eight hours of sleep that he or she is supposed to get. Moreover, many trucking companies have been pushing for the federal government to roll back work limits on drivers.

So, even if the driver had not slept in 24 hours, was it really his fault? And, can he be found guilty of vehicular homicide or injury by auto?

Source: The Washington Post, “Trucker in Tracy Morgan crash hadn’t slept for more than 24 hours,” Gail Sullivan, June 10, 2014

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