All too often, truck accidents result in serious, if not deadly consequences. The last one to have happened in Washington that ended up resulting in sentencing involved a Yakima truck driver who unfortunately fell asleep at the wheel. As a result, the vehicle swerved into the path of an oncoming Orondo school bus and passenger car. Due to the gravity of the accident, one adult was killed, while the bus driver was injured, along with dozens of students.
On Monday, the driver involved in the crash who was drowsy at the wheel was sentenced to one year plus one day in jail.
The 56-year-old driver pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and assault after the 2015 collision. The driver who was killed was 22-years-old at the time, while the school bus driver, a 55-year-old woman, was injured.
The truck was traveling on Highway 97 when he fell asleep at the wheel, allowing his northbound truck to veer and cross the center line. As a result, the vehicle crashed into a passenger car, which killed the driver. The 12-year-old passenger in the passenger car survived, but with injuries. After the initial collision, the truck then crashed into an Orondo School District bus. The bus driver veered left so the vehicle wouldn’t crash head-on. Officials say that this move prevented the crash from being even more serious.
At least 45 of the children on board of the bus were taken to a local hospital for treatment.
On top of the time the driver must remain in jail, he has also been sentenced to pay restitution to the victims, although the amount hasn’t been set up yet. Apparently, this wasn’t the first time the driver had been involved in a crash. In 2014, his truck hit an oncoming Honda Pilot, causing the driver and passenger to be injured as a result.
It’s saddening to see accidents like this happening so often in Washington. We believe it’s the driver’s duty to be responsible motorists at all time as to avoid similar crashes.
Because trucks are large and heavy, many of the accidents involving these vehicles are deadly or at least serious. Truck drivers are often forced to drive long hours and may end up becoming tired or drowsy while behind the wheel but they must not allow this to be a reality.
Any driver who feels he or she is too tired to continue, must pull over safely to a spot where he or she may park. Take a nap and rest before continuing, otherwise, you may be involved in a similar accident.
We are saddened that a live was lost in this tragic crash and that so many people were injured. But we hope that talking about this accident will help others to prevent similar accidents in the near future.