Friday, December 10, 2010

16-Year Old Crashes Big Rig in Mobile Home Park

Obviously, big rigs are dangerous – its size has the potential to cause greater damage and destruction in case of an accident. Now imagine a 16-year old driving it -- worst idea ever, right?

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) are now investigating a big rig crash in Lake View Terrace after it drove into a mobile home park. While fortunately, no one was injured, the accident was said to have been caused by a 16-year old boy at the wheel of the big rig.

The big rig truck was reportedly hauling whipped cream and a 20-year old was supposed to be driving. However, according to CHP Officer Francisco Villalobos, the 20-year old driver had gotten tired so he let his 16-year old brother drive. Two of his brothers, a 14 and 3 year old were also in the big rig with him when it crashed.

Some 300 miles from Livingston south to Ontario, the crash occurred in Foothill Boulevard at around 3:39 in the morning. Authorities believe that the 16-year old unlicensed driver fell asleep while driving. The brothers initially tried to say that the eldest was driving however they later admitted that the 16-year old was driving when the accident occurred.

A homeowner in the mobile park said that the big rig could have easily taken down his family’s bedrooms when it crashed.

Driving a car safely and responsibly is hard enough – more so for a big rig or large truck that could weigh more than 10,000 pounds. In fact, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, operating large trucks or buses need special skills and professionalism on the part of the driver. Standards and safety rules are actually even higher for commercial trucks -- federal regulations require carriers to test all commercial drivers for drugs before employment, after crashes, and on a random basis. Drivers with BACs at or above 0.04 percent are disqualified from driving.

The failure to operate the big rig safely is not just the liability of the driver. Under the law, even the trucking company can be made to pay damages for any injuries or property damage caused by their employee.

In this case, even if it wasn’t their employee who caused the crash but his 16-year old brother, the trucking company can still be held liable for the accident under the principle of vicarious liability. A truck accident attorney will be able to provide you more information on big rig crashes and damages.