Washington trucks that are intended to haul construction materials or debris, such as large dump trucks, are necessarily large and powerful. Stopping, such a vehicle in the event of a mechanical failure, can be difficult, if not impossible. A recent crash caused by a driver losing control of her dump truck illustrates the point.
Shortly after 9:30 a.m. on August 19, 2019, a dump truck was traveling west on James Street near Pioneer Square. According to police, the truck suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure that caused the driver to lose control. The truck rolled forward and struck a pedestrian at the corner of James Street and Second Avenue. The driver responded by attempting to weave through traffic. The truck struck three cars on James Street and then crashed through the front window of a Subway Sandwich Shop. A video recording of the incident shows the truck resting completely inside the sandwich shop with its windshield shattered.
The pedestrian suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center. Three men were taken to the same hospital and treated in the emergency room. Two employees of the shop were on the premises when the truck crashed into the window. Neither was injured.
Liability can be difficult to determine in an accident involving a commercial truck, such as the dump truck that apparently caused this accident. If first reports are accurate, the majority of fault may rest on whichever party was responsible for maintenance, especially if brake failure was the major cause. The party responsible for maintenance may not be the owner of the truck. If the truck was leased for a short term, neither the lessee nor the lessor may have been at fault.
Anyone who has lost a loved one or suffered an injury in an accident involving one or more commercial vehicles may wish to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for an evaluation of the evidence and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages.