The tragedy unfolded around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning in Platte County, Missouri on Highway 45 near Waldron.
Police say the driver of a semi-truck was traveling northbound around a curve in the roadway when he crossed over the center line and clipped a pickup truck. After clipping the first vehicle, the truck then hit a van head-on, according to KCTV.
Catherine Nienaber of Kansas City was driving the van and was pronounced dead on the scene. Her 7 year-old son was rushed to the hospital in serious condition.
The diver of the pickup 52 year-old Rodney Griffin suffered only minor injuries.
The area of Highway 45 were the accident occurred has a deep curve and has been the scene of several accidents in the past, according to Holland.
Adam Shaw who was driving the semi also had minor injuries and was taken into police custody after he showed signs of intoxication and police determined that alcohol was “contributing factor” in the accident. Shaw, 38, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and two counts of assault.
Shaw’s blood alcohol content was .18, almost twice the state’s legal limit for passenger vehicle drivers. Commercial vehicle drivers are considered DUI if their BAC exceeds .04.
“We’ve had a number of accidents at this curve in the past, but as far as a number or seriousness, I couldn’t tell you,” Deputy Erik Holland of the Platte County Sherriff’s office said.
Holland told KCTV that Shaw was a “for hire” driver for the company who owns the trailer and added he works for a company that contracts out drivers for other companies.
Truck drivers are in control of very large and heavy vehicles that can weigh tens of thousands of pounds. Commercial trucks can be especially deadly when involved in an accident. Truck accidents tend to be twice as deadly as other passenger vehicle accidents. There are a large number of responsible truck drivers who would never think of driving behind the wheel, but Shaw unfortunately was not one of them.
When a driver is responsible for the death or serious injury of another motorists a truck accident attorney can make certain they are held accountable for the suffering they have caused to others. Drinking at the helm of a large truck is careless and any driver who causes a truck accident can count on facing a lawsuit.
The 7 year-old boy will now have to face a growing up without the love and nurturing of his mother. A price can never be put on this type of loss, but this young man and his family deserve compensation. By filing a wrongful death suit the family of the deceased accident victim can get a settlement that covers their financial and emotional losses.