Houston, TX- Police found a sliver metal pipe used to smoke marijuana and a bag of prescription drugs in the cab of the truck involved in an accident that killed four Texas women in late September, according to new reports.
The accident occurred on September 26th, just outside Davis, Oklahoma in I-35. A tractor-trailer driver, Russell Staley, crossed over the center median of the interstate and into the oncoming lanes where he struck a bus carrying members of a Texas women’s softball team.
Four members of the team were killed and twelve others were injured, two of them seriously.
Staley was not injured. He denied falling asleep at the wheel and said he was distracted by something in the cab.
Authorities said evidence at the scene shows Staley made no attempt to brake prior to colliding with the bus. And now police reports show he had a marijuana pipe and prescription drugs in his cab. The drugs include: trazodone, used to treat anxiety and can cause drowsiness; sertraline, also for anxiety; omeprazole, for stomach acid; and simvastatin, used to reduce bad cholesterol, Bloomberg reported.
The initial report said Staley didn’t appear intoxicated at the scene, but they are waiting on toxicology tests to determine if he was impaired. He has not been charged.
One of the deceased women’s family has filed a lawsuit against Quickway, the Tennessee-based trucking company, Staley was driving for.
Statistically speeking, truck drivers are less likely to drive under the influence than a passenger vehicle motorists. According to a 2007, NHTSA study, less than one percent of truck drivers who were involved in fatal or injurious accident that year were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That’s miniscule considering the fact that passenger vehicle motorists cause a drunken driving accident every 48 minutes, CDC data shows.
Still when an accident occurs because of an intoxicated truck driver, the consequences can be more severe. People are killed. In fact, the NHTSA estimates that 98 percent of truck accidents that involve a fatality results in at the death of passenger vehicle occupants. Those lucky enough to survive often suffer catastrophic injuries.
In the after math of any intoxicated driving accident, those who are injured and the family of those who are killed by confused about what they need to do; who they can turn. The first thing a victim needs to do is to call a Houston truck accident attorney. They can tell the victim what they need to do next and help them secure a generous injury claim.
Operating any vehicle, large truck or otherwise, is careless and dangerous. Far too many lives are lost to drunken drivers and the only way for loved ones to get the justice they deserve is to hold a negligent driver responsible. The victims deserve to be compensated for their pain and suffering and a Houston truck accident attorney will work hard to make certain they get the money they deserve.