Personal Injury Attorney David Lietz Reacts to Tractor-Trailer Accident Killing Seven

Law Firm Newswire



Washington, D.C. (Law Firm Newswire) September 17, 2013 – Seven people, including four children, died in an accident involving two tractor-trailers on Interstate 65 in Indiana.

The accident occurred in the late evening on a recent Thursday near Roselaw, Ind. A Jeep carrying seven family members was northbound in a construction zone with a semi in front of it and another behind. Police said the rear truck failed to slow with traffic and crushed the vehicle against the leading truck.

“This is truly a tragedy,” said Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney David Lietz, who is not involved in the case. “It would appear from police reports that the rear truck driver may be to blame.”

First Sgt. Terrance Weems with the Indiana State Police said that the rear driver caused the accident through “inattentive driving and negligence,” but, as of the Friday following the accident, no charges or citations had been filed.

The Jeep was driven by Yvette Williams, 35, from Atlanta, Ga. The passengers included her two children, Jasmin Osborne, 7, and Jamin Osborne, 5, also from Atlanta. The other passengers were Williams’ sister, Lindsey Williams, her daughters Yazmin, 5, and Arielle, 3, and the children’s uncle, Armado Mangual, 49, all from Merrillville, Ind.

The compaction of the Jeep was such that first responders initially thought there were just two people inside. Sgt. Tony Slocum said a lack of skid marks indicated the driver of the rear truck had not applied the brakes and had rear-ended the Jeep at highway speed.

“When passenger vehicles – even SUVs – get into accidents with loaded tractor-trailers, the results are often catastrophic,” Lietz continued. “The disparity in weight and momentum is too great, and the passenger vehicle is crushed. For a car to be sandwiched between two loaded semis at highway speed is just about the worst possible accident in terms of survivability.”

The truck driver who rear-ended the Jeep, Howard Stratton, of Leroy, Mich., has received at least five citations for speeding since 2006. He has also been cited for failing to complete a required weigh-in of his truck. He suffered minor injuries in the collision.

“Authorities owe it to the victims of this accident and their family to thoroughly investigate this accident and, if appropriate, file charges against the truck driver,” added Lietz.