Last Thursday just before 8:00 a.m. box truck driver was traveling on Highway 97 when he veered into oncoming lanes, striking a car and a school bus carrying 57 passengers.
The driver of the car, Carmela Cuellar Morales, 22, was pronounced dead on the scene. Her 12 year-old passenger was treated at the hospital and released.
Dozens of students on the bus were also take to the hospital as a precautions, but none suffered serious injuries. The majority of the injuries were minor scrapes, bruises and fractures.
The box truck driver, his passenger and the school bus driver were seriously injured, but are listed in satisfactory condition according the Associated Press via ABC News.
Today, Trooper Daren Wright told the Associated Press the box truck driver fell asleep at the wheel. The State Patrol also said that truck driver was cited for crossing the center line last year.
This results of this investigation emerged as Senator Deb Fischer (R.-NE), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation subcommittee on surface transportation questioned the Federal Motor Carrier Administration’s Hours-of- Service regulations.
Sen. Fischer criticized the agency for imposing the rest regulations “with complete disregard for congressionally mandated requirements for the study of the rule’s impact.” Sen. Fischer would like to reform the agency so that is under Congress’ control and is more inclusive of the trucking industry, according to Overdrive.com.
The hours-of-service rules imposed in 2013 capped a truck driver’s maximum working hours to 77 hours in a 7-day period. These rules require drivers take tow nighttime rest periods before they can restart their work week. Truck drivers are also required to take breaks during their driving shifts.
Sen. Fischer believes current hours-of-service rules, which have actually been put on hold, put truck drivers on the road at a time when commuter traffic is heavier and more lives are put at risk.
FMCSA head Scott Darling, who is stepping down in late March defended the hours-of service rules and his agency telling the subcommittee, “The information provided in the SMS data is good data. It’s the data we use to prioritize our interventions. It’s the data used by the public to make decisions every day.” He added, “It’s data that I have also heard from carriers that they use to improve their performance.”
While the trucking industry and some lawmakers may push back against hours-of-service regulations, truck accident victims may feel differently. Fatigued driving can be very devastating and victims need an Iowa accident attorney on their side.
There are too many complex issues involved with truck accidents for a victim to try and seek compensation alone. Our Iowa truck accident attorneys know what it takes to present a successful truck accident claim that will result in a generous settlement for the victims.