Category Archives: Tractor Trailers

Truck Accident Resource for Personal Injury Victims and Lawyers in West Virginia

As a West Virginia injury lawyer handling truck accidents, I have found the web site published by the Truck Safety Coalition, which can be found here, as extremely helpful. The organization is a partnership between The Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) Foundation, and Parents Against Tired Truckers (P.A.T.T). The Truck Safety Coalition is dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, providing compassionate support to truck crash survivors and families of truck crash victims, and educating the public, policy-makers and media about truck safety issues.

Recently, the Truck Safety Coalition issued a report card based on truck accidents that have occurred throughout the U.S., ranking the worst truck accident states. The Truck Safety Coalition looked at the number of truck accident deaths that occurred for every 100,000 people. Over 114,000 people were injured in truck accidents in 2005, and 5,200 people were killed in truck accidents, making the average number of truck accidents with fatalities 1.76 deaths for every 100,000 people.

West Virginia ranked as one of the 10 states with the highest average of truck accident deaths per population. Others included Kentucky, Kansas and South Carolina.

– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Car Accident Attorney.


Pedestrian Hit by Truck on WV Turnpike – Police Urge Against Pedestrians on Interstate

A 90 year-old man was hit by a UPS tractor trailer several days ago after stopping his car on the side of the road, walking across the turnpike near Beckley to ask directions from construction workers, and then trying to walk back across.

The driver of the UPS truck was not cited. Reportedly, he tried to stop and sounded his air horns and attempted to steer the truck away from the pedestrian.

State Police Cpl. David Skala noted that pedestrian traffic on interstate highways is not allowed. He urged people to never even walk on an interstate highway’s shoulder and especially warned them not to set foot in the traffic lanes. Quite often, drivers will veer into the shoulder, striking motorists pulled over. Police officers conducting traffic stops have also been killed by such drivers.

“That’s why you see signs on interstates that say, ‘No pedestrians, bicycles, horses or mopeds,’” Skala said.

While pulling onto the shoulder in an emergency is OK, troopers have often found people walking alongside the turnpike. Some are tending to disabled vehicles, and others are hitchhiking. Skala said. Those lost on an interstate should wait until they find the nearest exit. Then they should call for help on a cell phone.

You can read the full article from the Register-Herald here.

– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Car Accident Attorney.

Causes of West Virginia Truck Accidents

According to the Federal Motor Carry Safety Administration’s 2006 report, there are approximately 141,000 truck crashes every year. In more than half of those, the accident was the truck driver’s fault. The FMCA report further broke that figure down into percentage categories.

According to the FMCA 2006 report, the top 10 causes of truck accidents where the truck driver is a fault:

1. Prescription drug use (26%)

2. Traveling too fast (23%)

3. Unfamiliar with the roadway (22%)

4. Over the counter drug use (18%)

5. Inadequate surveillance 14%)

6. Fatigue (13%)

7. Illegal maneuver (9%)

8. Exterior distraction (9%)

9. Inadequate evasive action (7%)

10. Aggressive driving (7%)

Although I don’t have the figures for West Virginia truck accidents specifically, statistically it shouldn’t be that much different. However, I would guess that traveling too fast and being unfamiliar with the roadway would play an even larger role in West Virginia truck accidents, since the roads are so steep, windy, and narrow.

– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Car Accident Attorney.

Dump Truck Flips, Kills Man

Also from the Wheeling Intelligencer:

Dump Truck Flips, Bethesda Man Dead
POSTED: March 28, 2008 Save | Print | Email | Read comments | Post a comment
Article Photos


Photo by William Daniel
Members of the Wheeling Police and Fire departments survey the scene of a fatal accident that occurred this morning on Evelyn Avenue. The driver, a Bethesda man, died at the scene when the truck crashed into a utility pole.

WHEELING — A Bethesda man died at about 8 a.m. today after the tandem dump truck he was driving crashed on Evelyn Avenue in Elm Grove.

According to Wheeling Police Sgt. William Goldbaugh, the truck carrying limestone hit a telephone pole then flipped over on its side on Evelyn Avenue. The driver, who had to be extricated from the cab by Wheeling Fire Department personnel, was the only occupant of the vehicle which was owned by a Somerton company. Goldbaugh said the accident is currently under investigation.

The victim’s name was not being released as of press time. The body was transported to Wheeling Hospital.

Wheeling Fire Chief Larry Helms said witnesses said they thought the vehicle may have been having brake problems on the steep hill before it crashed.

“I talked to the owner of the company, and he thinks the driver may have gotten lost. He was supposed to have been heading toward Cameron,” Helms noted.

Firefighters said the roof of the truck cab was partially torn off when they arrived and the driver was still in his seatbelt.

“Our guys got him out and started working on him but he was already gone,” Helms said.

No other vehicles or people were involved in the accident.

However, an American Electric Power Co. pole was split and live wires were still attached to the pole but hanging above the pavement. AEP workers were called to the scene to cut the power to allow for clean up.

Carmen Prati-Miller, American Electric Power spokesperson, said no residents were immediately left without power following the crash, but an emergency outage was slated to occur at 10:45 a.m. to restore the lines. This outage was projected to last for about two hours. Much of Elm Grove and parts of Bethlehem would be affected by this outage.

As of press time, Junior Avenue was open for passing traffic but much of the Hillsdale section was blocked off to passing traffic.

It was unknown how long it would take to clear the truck and the rocks from Evelyn Avenue.

Heather Ziegler contributed to this story

Truck Driver Indicted in Fatal Nicholas County Wreck

From the Beckley Register-Herald:

Truck driver indicted in fatal wreck

Chrissy Boone
Register-Herald Correspondent

SUMMERSVILLE — A grand jury called by a special prosecutor has indicted a Pennsylvania truck driver in connection with an accident in Nicholas County a year ago that killed a Fayette County man.

The grand jury indicted Richard Cyphert, 34, of Knox, Pa., on charges of negligent homicide and failure to maintain control in the Feb. 27, 2007, death of Tommy F. Ramsey Jr., 30, of Edmond, on U.S. 19 near Mount Lookout.

Special prosecutor Tom MacAulay of Raleigh County presented the case to the grand jury. MacAulay was assigned to the case after Ramsey’s family persisted in pursuing charges against Cyphert. Nicholas County Prosecutor Mark Hudnall declined to present the matter to a grand jury, stating he did not believe there was enough evidence to support a conviction.

According to the accident report completed by Nicholas sheriff’s Cpl. Walter Shafer and Deputy Jarod Lane, Ramsey, driving a pickup truck, was following a tractor-trailer driven by his cousin, Eddie Orval Ramsey Jr., 26, of Edmond. Eddie Ramsey’s tractor-trailer had experienced mechanical problems earlier, and both he and his cousin were traveling south on U.S. 19 at about 50 mph with their flashers on.

The accident report said Tommy Ramsey’s pickup truck was then struck in the rear by Cyphert’s tractor-trailer, pushing the pickup into the back of Eddie Ramsey’s tractor-trailer.

The accident report said the roadway was dry and weather conditions were clear. Cyphert was not cited.

Negligent homicide is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of a year in jail.

Tanker Truck Overturns in Raleigh County

From the Beckley Register-Herald:


C.L. Garvin / Register-Herald Photographer

Overturned tanker

C.L. Garvin
Register-Herald Photographer

Personnel from the Trap Hill Volunteer Fire Department along with Jan-Care and Best ambulances work to extricate the driver of a tanker truck that overturned on W.Va. 3 in Eccles Tuesday. According to the Raleigh County Emergency Operations Center, W.Va. 3 near Old Eccles Road was closed after the accident. Evergreen Environmental Management was called to the scene to clean up spilled diesel fuel, and the driver was believed to have been taken to a local hospital. The wreckage was reportedly cleaned up by late afternoon.

Snowy Weather Causing Accidents in Greenbrier County

From the Charleston Gazette:

Truck flips, closes I-64 in Greenbrier

A tractor-trailer flipped on its side, closing Interstate 64 near Dawson to eastbound traffic on Wednesday, a Greenbrier County 911 dispatcher said.

Members of the Smoot and Clintonville Volunteer Fire Departments shut down the interstate because of snowy weather conditions just before 8 p.m. after responding to the overturned trailer, she said.

Slippery conditions caused a number of accidents on I-64 Wednesday evening, including one near the state line, she said.

None of the accidents involved serious injuries, she said.