Robert Johnson, Darcy Johnson, both from West Chazy, Died In Beekmantown Big Rig Truck Accident On Military Turnpike
CLINTON COUNTY, NEW YORK (September 6, 2021) – Two people from West Chazy identified as Robert Johnson and Darcy Johnson have tragically died in a Freightliner tractor trailer truck accident on Military Turnpike.
Clinton County police officials are saying that the crash took place around 12:22 p.m. on Friday. Robert Johnson and Darcy Johnson were in a Nissan Altima traveling north when they were struck by a box truck traveling south.
A 2016 Chevy Silverado pickup truck was also involved in the collision. But that vehicle’s involvement in the crash remains largely unknown.
Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene of the collision by Jersey Swamp Road and Town Line Road in order to help all of the victims. The 70-year-old driver of the freightliner truck was given CPR after collapsing at the scene.
Life-saving measures were administered to Robert Johnson and Darcy Johnson after they were extricated from their vehicle. Sadly, both were pronounced dead at the scene due to the severity of their injuries.
A full investigation into the cause of the collision remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Beekmantown Truck Accidents
Nearly 6.5% of all accidents that occur involve a commercial truck. This results in 4,000 truck accident fatalities per year on average. There are a number of ways that commercial trucks can be uniquely dangerous in car accidents. For example, a fully loaded semi-truck can weigh as much as 80,000 lbs. Due to their heavy weight commercial trucks can take nearly 40% longer to stop than a passenger vehicle. Other factors that could increase the likelihood of a truck accident may include:
- Speeding: Many highways and local statutes cap the speed of commercial trucks at 55 mph. But even traveling the speed limit can be dangerous depending on the prevailing conditions of the roadway.
- Inclement Weather: Rain, snow and even black ice could potentially contribute to an accident.
- Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers often work long hours and can naturally become fatigued. In fact, it’s not uncommon for truck drivers to fall asleep at the wheel.
- Inadequate Surveillance: Driving a truck requires truck drivers to remain alert at all times. Many collisions take place when truck drivers fail to properly negotiate curves or otherwise fail to scan the road ahead of them.
Truck drivers are held to a high standard in terms of safety. All commercial truck drivers must receive their regular driver’s license and then get special training to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL). According to the FMCSA, “In order to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), an applicant must pass both skills and knowledge testing geared to these higher standards. Additionally CDL holders are held to a higher standard when operating any type of motor vehicle on public roads.” If a truck driver commits a traffic infraction they could be held liable in the event of an accident.
- With limited exceptions, drivers are not supposed to cross double yellow lines.
- According to New York VAT § 1129 (a), drivers must maintain a safe follow distance with the vehicle ahead of them. When a driver rear-ends a vehicle in their own lane they will usually be considered at fault.
- According to New York VAT § 1126, drivers must avoid passing other vehicles on the highway when there are official lane markings that indicate passing would be especially hazardous.
Depending on the facts of any case, there could be numerous sources of liability for an accident. For example, if a truck driver was working as an employee at the time of a collision the company that they were working for could be held at fault. Generally speaking, companies are liable for the negligent actions of their employees – when those employees are working within the scope and course of their job duties. Determining liability for an accident can be difficult.
- Even if a driver is partially at fault for a collision, they or their family may still have legal recourse. Liability in New York is determined on the basis of comparative negligence under (N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 1411). If a plaintiff is determined to be partially at fault damages are reduced proportionately.
- New York and local municipalities could be liable for an accident that results from failing to correct a known hazardous condition with the roadway. For example, a hazardous condition could arise from the state’s failure to install median barriers on sections of road with a high occurrence of crossover accidents. (See, for example, Friedman v. State of New York and Muller v State of New York)
The family of any victim that died in a truck accident are protected by a number of laws. When a truck driver or municipality is negligent the family of the deceased may be able to seek justice through a civil claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and funeral costs. It is important that there is a proper investigation after any collision. A wrongful death attorney can examine the unique facts of your case free of cost and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating A Beekmantown Truck Accident
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Robert Johnson and Darcy Johnson. Any person that may have information about what happened should reach out to police. There needs to be a thorough investigation for the sake of all who have lost so much. The rise of fatal New York collisions in 2021 remains deeply concerning to us. It is our sincere hope that city officials will examine this stretch of road and consider measures to help prevent additional tragedies like this.