Two Kingston High School Students Died, Multiple People Injured In Shandaken Tractor Trailer Truck Accident on State Route 28 By Route 212
SHANDAKEN, NEW YORK (January 22, 2023) – Two students from Kingston High School have tragically died in a Shandaken semi-truck accident on State Route 28.
Ulster County officials are saying that the collision took place around 8:56 a.m. on January 8. A Volvo tractor trailer rear-ended a Honda stopped on the roadway waiting to turn north on to Route 212.
The tractor trailer then crossed the double yellow lines in the roadway before striking a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe head on. That collision caused the truck to rollover.
A fourth vehicle identified as a 2018 Audi SQ5 was also involved in a collision with the tractor trailer. All three people in the Hyundai were juniors at Kingston High School.
Two of them were pronounced dead at the scene and a third was flown to Westchester Medical Center. A full investigation into the Shandaken truck accident remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Ulster County Semi-Truck Accidents
Semi-trucks account for a relatively small portion of the vehicles on the roadway. But they are involved in a disproportionate number of traffic fatalities. According to the IIHS, “A total of 4,714 people died in large truck crashes in 2021, a 17 percent increase compared with 2020. Sixteen percent of these deaths were truck occupants, 68 percent were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, and 15 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists.” Semi-trucks can be particularly dangerous for a number of reasons.
- Semi-trucks weigh 20 – 30 times more than passenger vehicles which makes them take much longer to stop.
- Semi-trucks have a wide turning radius which make side impact collisions more likely.
- Semi-trucks have a higher ground clearance than most vehicles which can lead to underride collisions.
Truck drivers must get a commercial drivers license and are held to a high standard in terms of safety. Many truck accidents involve truck drivers that violate traffic regulations. 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 of traffic they will usually be considered at fault. Liability for a truck accident may extend beyond the at fault truck driver.
If a truck driver was working at the time of a collision, their employer could be held at fault. Employers are typically liable for the wrongful acts of their employees. According to Judith M. v. Sisters of Charity Hosp., 93 N.Y.2d 932, 933 (1999) respondeat superior will apply “so long as the tortious conduct is generally foreseeable and a natural incident of the employment.” It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any truck accident.
- The truck driver’s logbook should be reviewed.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Surveillance footage should be sought.
- Photos of the accident site should be taken.
The vast majority of truck accidents are preventable and involve some amount of driver negligence. It is common for truck companies to push their drivers to complete their routes on unrealistic time-schedules. This can easily lead truck drivers to become dangerously fatigued. Sadly, though, truck companies will often do everything in their power to avoid responsibility if one of their drivers was involved in a crash.
Investigating Ulster County Semi-Truck Accidents
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the families of the two students that lost their lives in this horrific crash. It is our sincere hope that all of the other victims will be able to make a full recovery. This was a preventable tragedy that should have never taken place.
Do you need more information about a Shandaken truck accident? Our team of roadway safety advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that truck companies are held accountable for their negligent actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (516) 908-9792.