Richard Peterson of Princeton Died In Bridgewater Scooter Accident With Dump Truck Along Route 202/206 Near Brown Road
SOMERSET COUNTY, NEW JERSEY (October 10th, 2021) – A Princeton man identified as Richard Peterson has tragically died in a Bridgewater dump truck accident while riding a scooter along Route 202/206 near Brown Road.
Somerset County police officials are saying that the collision took place just before 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 8th. Richard Peterson was riding a 2009 SYM HD-200 Scooter when he was hit by a 1996 Freightliner FL70 dump truck.
Green Knoll Volunteer Fire Company personnel and paramedics were called to the scene of the collision in order to help the victim. Despite the best efforts to resuscitate Richard Peterson, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bridgewater police officials have not issued any citations at the time of the accident. They are asking any witnesses to come forward and speak with them.
A full investigation into the Bridgewater scooter crash remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Bridgewater Dump Truck Accidents
Dump trucks are responsible for hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries every year. According to Engineering News-Record, “The number of dump truck accidents (which includes many non-construction-related uses) involving injuries rose 2.7%, to 5,483, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [FMCSA].” Fatigue and poor driving habits are among the leading causes of dump truck collisions. There are a number of steps that can be taken to help prevent dump truck accidents.
- Drivers should get a full nights sleep before starting their shift. The CDC estimates that staying awake for only 18 hours reduces driving ability equivalent to driving with a BAC of 0.05% or higher.
- Commercial drivers must abstain from alcohol. FMCSA guidelines and New Jersey state law prohibits commercial drivers from operating their vehicle with a BAC of 0.04% or higher.
- Dump truck drivers must receive proper training. Driving a commercial truck is substantially different from driving a passenger vehicle. For example, dump trucks have large blind spots that can obscure the presence of pedestrians and scooter drivers.
All drivers in New Jersey have a legal obligation to exercise due care to avoid hitting other drivers. A motorist is required to make observations of traffic and vehicles that are within their path of travel. When necessary, evasive action must be taken equivalent to what a reasonably prudent person would take under similar circumstances. See, for example, Ambrose v. Cyphers, 29 N.J. 138 (1959); Schaublin v. Leber, 50 N.J. Super. 506 (App. Div. 1953). Depending on the specific facts of any case, liability for a truck accident could extend beyond any driver.
If a dump truck driver was working at the time of a collision, the company that they were working for could be held at fault. Generally speaking, municipal entities and private corporations are liable for the negligence of their employees. This is typically true insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. Determining whether an action falls within the course of an employee’s job duties will depend largely on the type of work the employee was hired to perform.
In certain circumstances, the manufacturer of a scooter could be liable for an accident if it was caused by a defect with a scooter. Companies have a legal responsibility to create products that are reasonably safe under N.J. Stat. § 2A:58C-2. Broadly speaking, negligence claims under N.J. Stat. § 2A:58C-2 will be based on (1) design defects, (2) manufacturing defects and (3) marketing/warning defects. There have been numerous reports of defects with common scooters including:
- Faulty electronics
- Unintended acceleration
- Stem collapses
- Brake failures
- Defective batteries
The family of any victim that died in a New Jersey dump truck accident may have recourse through N.J. Stat. § 2A:31-1 (2021). Under the statute, an accident must have been preceded by a “wrongful act, neglect or default.” Damages in a civil claim can help with some of the unexpected expenses that often come with the sudden loss of a loved one. However, truck companies will often do everything in their power to deny liability for an accident involving their driver. A dump truck accident attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case free of cost and get to the bottom of what may have caused an accident.
Investigating A Bridgewater Dump Truck Accident
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Richard Peterson. Any person that may have information about what happened should reach out to Somerset County police officials. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened so that steps can be taken to prevent similar tragedies.
This incident also raises a number of important safety questions. Did the dump truck driver involved in this accident follow all New Jersey vehicle and traffic regulations? Did they receive proper training? Could this tragedy have been prevented? Many of these accidents can be prevented when truck drivers use caution and learn to share the road with pedestrians and scooter riders.