On March 27, 2013, a tractor trailer driver, Sun Lei from Alhambra, California, slammed his semi truck into 4 vehicles stopped at a red light. The Missouri truck accident occurred at 9:03 a.m., on U.S. 63 in Republic, Missouri. 31 year old Sun Lei was operating a 2006 Freightliner Tractor Trailer westbound on US 63, in front of Republic Ford and Oakwood Avenue (Farm Road 93). The four stopped cars were lawfully stopped behind another semi truck waiting on a traffic signal to change when the impact occurred.
Sun Lei’s semi-truck crushed the 2011 Chevrolet pick-up truck being driven by 65 year old Lawrence Coan of Kimberling City, Missouri, as well as the 2011 Nisan Altima, driven by 41 year old Corey Greshman of Macon, Missouri. Both Lawrence and Corey were tragically killed as a result of the tractor trailer crash. The impact of the tractor trailer forced the vehicles being driven by Corey and Lawrence into a 2006 Volvo Tractor Trailer being operated by 58 year old Edward Holland of Aurora, Missouri, and the 1995 Chevy Blazer being operated by 42 year old Oval Williams of Galena, Missouri. Edward and Oval both fortunately survived the crash.
Authorities identified Sun Lei as a Chinese citizen living in California. His immigration status is currently on appeal. Green County police have arrested Sun and he is being held on $25,000 bail. To make matters worse, Missouri Highway Patrol Troop D reports this as their 25th and 26th fatality of 2013.
The reason for Sun Lei’s failure to stop his rig is not yet know. Pursuant to State and Federal law, Sun was tested for alcohol after the crash. The results of this test are not yet known. In addition, following the crash, a 5 hour on scene crash reconstruction was conducted.
Sgt. Gruben downloaded the information from the crash data recorder on board in Sun Lei’s Freightliner semi-truck. This data showed Sun Lei’s tractor trailer truck was traveling 59.5 miles per hour at the moment of the accident in Republic, Missouri. He did not even appear to slow his vehicle down. In addition, Sun Lei was operating a commercial motor vehicle and is subject to the stringent requirements of the Department of Transportation’s guidelines for commercial truck drivers. Sun’s logbooks, kept pursuant to the DOT’s regulations, show that Sun was driving in excess of the 70 hours of time allowed during the past 7 day period.
It is likely Sun fell asleep or was simply not paying attention to stopped traffic. Fatigued truck driving is all too common today. It is important that negligence of this degree is corrected. A thorough investigation needs to occur in order to determine whether the trucking company who put Sun Lei behind the wheel of such a large vehicle took the proper safety measures and training procedures before doing so. The families of those killed now have a great responsibility to protect other members of the community from similar harm through the negligent hiring, training and retention of improper truck drivers.
Missouri Wrongful Death Lawyer
Missouri law provides for the family members of those killed through no fault of their own to recovery for their loss. This process is referred to as a Missouri wrongful death claim. In addition to preventing trucking companies from placing profits ahead of people, families of the deceased are entitled to reimbursement for their harms and losses, such as funeral and medical expenses, future lost wages, guidance and companionship. To learn more about Missouri wrongful death law, contact an experienced Missouri wrongful death lawyer at 314-409-7060, or toll-free at 855-40-CRASH.