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Truck Driver Gets Life in Prison for Fatal Crash in Florida

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A circuit court judge in Florida this week sentenced a tractor-trailer driver to life in prison plus 15 years for DUI manslaughter in the deaths of two women from Naples, Florida.

The 34 and 35-year-old women were killed in 2011 by the drunk truck driver as they were driving to Orlando for a birthday party for another friend.

The deadly truck crash happened on Dec. 30, 2011 on a rural country road in Florida as the two women were traveling to the party. One woman’s husband was behind them in another car and he saw the Kenworth tractor-trailer slam into and demolish their vehicle. 

Witnesses stated that they saw the truck driver driving erratically on the rural highway near Wauchula, right before he crossed the center line and slammed into the car driven by the two women.

car accident

The truck driver could have been sentenced to as little as 25 years per Florida sentencing guidelines. But eight friends and family members gave heartfelt victim impact statements that may have affected the sentence imposed.

The truck driver’s attorney stated that the trucker did not remember the crash and had essentially fallen asleep behind the wheel. According to police blood tests, the truck driver had methamphetamine in his system after the accident.

Family members said after the verdict that they were pleased but had been upset that the case had taken so long to be decided. The husband who witnessed the crash said that he is glad that he will be able to tell their six-year-old daughter that the man who killed her mother will be in prison for life.

Our View

Each of our Virginia personal injury attorneys sends our condolences to the families who have suffered so much after the horror of this terrible truck accident. The truck driver in this terrible crash grossly violated his duties as a commercial truck driver when he got behind the wheel and had taken methamphetamine.

Methamphetamine causes serious impairments to one’s ability to drive. The drug typically causes people to have more aggressive and impulsive behavior, which can be very dangerous behind the wheel of a big rig. The drug also impairs one’s judgment and reflexes and makes it very difficult to handle the multiple tasks required for driving safely.

The grieving family should remember that they also may be entitled to financial compensation due to the truck driver being negligent and causing the death of their loved one. The families involved could be entitled to a large financial settlement, including for pain and suffering, loss of consortium and lost wages.