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California witness pursued hit-and-run trucker after fatality

Negligence can occur at several levels when a Los Angeles commercial truck operator is faulted for an accident. The truck driver, the truck owner, an employer, a leasing firm or a vehicle manufacturer may be held liable for victims' injuries or deaths.

Fontana authorities are grateful to a witness, who followed a driver after a truck crash. California Highway Patrol credited a man who saw an early morning collision between a semi-truck and two other vehicles.

The witness said the truck driver blew through a red light near the Fontana-Rancho Cucamonga border and slammed into an SUV and car. The occupants of the SUV survived with slight injuries, but the driver of the sedan was killed.

Troopers said the witness, a relative of a person in the SUV, followed the tractor-trailer as the driver took off. The witness drove in front of the semi, but the trucker refused to pull over immediately. The witness felt the driver might run him off the road.

After both vehicles stopped, the witness confronted the driver, who denied being involved in an accident. When the witness phoned police, the trucker fled on foot. An initial search was fruitless, but eventually an arrest was made.

The witness identified the man. Authorities traced the vehicle's owner to a trucking firm in Fontana but did not reveal the relationship between the driver and the business. The truck was not stolen.

Criminal charges will be filed.

Common factors in commercial truck accidents include fatigue, distracted driving and alcohol or drug use. The truck could have a mechanical fault linked to a designer, manufacturer, servicing company or owner.

The driver's employer may have violated safety regulations by letting the driver operate an unsafe vehicle. Employers also may be responsible for pressuring truckers to drive for illegally-long periods.

A personal injury attorney may collect and review evidence to help victims pursue claims for compensation.

Source: KABC-TV, "Semi-truck driver arrested for fatal Fontana hit-and-run" No author given, Jan. 30, 201 

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