While headed west to revisit a former home state, a mother — traveling with three of her nine children — was caught up in a serious accident. She lost two of her children that May when a truck accident killed one daughter immediately and another a few days later. The Georgia collision resulted in this mother fighting for changes.
Her accident did not generate much in the way of media attention initially , although she has made significant progress in her battle to encourage both the federal government and the trucking industry to reassess some safety concerns. The issues she has highlighted for change deal with both mechanical equipment and policy matters. She launched a Facebook campaign along with a website and gathered more than 11,000 signatures on the petitions she circulated.
She joined in an effort started by another family that addressed the ineffectiveness of the undercarriage protection bars installed on the rear of trailers that are supposed to prevent smaller vehicles from being lodged under the trailers. Her own car wound up under the trailer of a second truck during her accident. She is also pushing for stronger enforcement of industry regulations to prevent fatigue in drivers and higher insurance requirements for carriers.
The trucker who hit this family was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide for this Georgia truck accident. The woman succeeded in meeting with the Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, who stated that there would be changes coming forthwith. The trucking industry claims that more than half of all trucking accidents are caused by other drivers. It is not known if this mother filed either personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits against the driver who was charged in this wreck. A successful litigation effort cannot fill the void left in families, but a monetary award can ease the financial burdens that accumulate in the aftermath.
Source: dispatch.com, “Teen daughters’ deaths spur mother to fight for trucker safety“, David Voreacos and Jeff Plungis, Oct. 2, 2014