Traffic was ground to a halt in both directions on I-295 late in the evening of Sunday, May 17, when a truck went up in flames in a fiery two-vehicle accident. The driver of a 2011 Ford pickup truck, who has not yet been identified, died at the scene after his truck left the northbound lanes of the highway, struck the guardrail, overturned, and crashed into I-73 overpass supports. After the accident, I-73 remained closed for two hours as engineers inspected the overpass to ensure the highway’s safety. I-295 remained closed all night as authorities investigated the accident. On Tuesday, May 19, Joseph Tiedeman, 58, of Burlington, the owner of a box truck also involved in the accident, was found in an abandoned home in Burlington. Tiedeman had been missing since just before the accident, and is now receiving medical treatment. So far, it is unclear what involvement if any Tiedeman had in the accident.
Many state and federal laws regulating Commercial Motor Vehicles could potentially come into play if the driver of Tiedeman’s box truck is found to be at fault in the accident. If the box truck contained hazardous materials or had a weight rating of over 10,000 pounds, classifying it as a commercial motor vehicle, then many complex regulations geared at maximizing the safety of our roads will apply.
New Jersey Trucking Regulations
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations govern how many consecutive hours a commercial driver may spend behind the wheel (49 CFR 395), as well as how long a commercial driver must rest during his driving time (49 CFR 40). Commercial drivers also fact strict drug and alcohol testing requirements under 49 CFR 382. 49 CFR 380 requires sufficient training for all commercial drivers, and 49 CFR 383 requires that certain standards must be met to obtain a Commercial Drivers’ License under applicable state laws. Additional regulations require sufficient liability insurance to be maintained by commercial carriers under 49 CFR 387, and the preservation of certain carrier records under 49 CFR 379. Safety procedures are also dictated by federal law under 49 CFR 385.
If the box truck driver involved in this accident, or the motor carrier employing that driver, were violating federal or state regulations, the family of the pickup truck driver killed as a result of the accident might have a claim for damages against the motor carrier to recover compensation for the losses they have suffered.
If you have experienced loss or injury as a result of a trucking accident, please call us to discuss what damages you might be entitled to seek as compensation for your loss or injury.