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Truck driver sued for wrongful death after rear-end crash

A wrongful death suit against a truck driver and his employer says the driver failed to brake in heavy traffic, despite having a device in his vehicle that warns when a collision is imminent.

The truck driver was involved in a deadly interstate crash on April 22. Authorities say the driver was in stop-and-go traffic when he approached two vehicles from behind and somehow failed to brake.

The truck crashed into the vehicles, which contained nursing students commuting to a hospital where they were undergoing clinical training. Two of the students died. They were 21 and 20. Their families subsequently sued the driver and his employer for wrongful death.

The suits contend that the driver had a collision avoidance system on board. The device uses a combination of radar, cameras and computers to detect objects in front of the truck and sound an alert if something is nearby. It is not clear if the device went off before the wreck, or if it was turned on. The driver never attempted to brake, according to the lawsuits.

Safety devices may prevent accidents, but they only work if the driver is paying attention and alert. Without knowing more about what happened in this tragic crash, it remains to be seen why the truck driver apparently failed to see traffic stopped ahead of him, or if he did see it, why he seemingly failed to act.

Large trucks can cause a lot of harm on the highway, as cases like this one show. When a preventable truck accident occurs, the driver may be liable, as might his or her employer.

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