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Rick Shapiro
Rick Shapiro
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Trucker and Toddler Killed in North Carolina Chemical Truck Crash

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The North Carolina Highway Patrol reported in December that a trucker and toddler died after a big rig hauling chemicals overturned in Lumberton, North Carolina and hit a car.

State troopers stated that the tractor trailer wreck happened on Dec. 7 north of Lumberton on NC 72. The eastbound truck ran off the highway, returned to the road, crossed the center line and overturned onto a westbound car. The truck caught fire, trapping the truck driver.


A man and woman were in the car with the one year old child. The driver of the car was 57 year old Wendell McRae and the passenger was 29 year old Niasia Oliver. The child was killed and the adults had minor injuries.

Neither speed or alcohol were considered factors in the accident.

Our View

The tractor trailer accident attorneys in our Virginia office are sad to hear about this deadly truck accident in North Carolina. It is unknown why the truck driver lost control of his vehicle. But our personal injury attorneys have seen these types of accidents caused by distracted driving and simply driver fatigue. It is common for truck drivers to work long hour and not get enough rest. This often leads to driver fatigue and serious or fatal tractor trailer crashes.

For truck drivers to drive safely and avoid accidents with personal injury, they should do the following regarding rest:

  • Get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Do not drive if possible from 12 to 6 am as this is when the human body is naturally drowsy. A recent study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA found that driver alertness was more related to the time of day than to how long the driver had been driving.
  • Eat a proper diet. Skipping meals regularly or eating at abnormal times will lead to tiredness and food cravings.
  • Take a nap. Al truck drivers should stop for a quick nap when they are felling tired. Naps should be at least 10 minutes in length, but 30 to 45 minutes is idea. You should allow at least 15 minutes to wake up before you start to drive.
  • Do not take drugs that make you drowsy. Many over the counter and prescription drugs lead to drowsiness. There have been many serious truck crashes over the years where a truck driver was taking a prescription medication that made him drowsy. Even with a doctor’s prescription, you can be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit for another person’s accident injuries.

Our Virginia and North Carolina truck accident attorneys have handled cases involving negligent truck drivers, such as this $2.25 million settlement for a truck driver who had an undisclosed medical condition that led to a fatal crash. All truck drivers need to be extremely careful that they get enough rest and are taking care of any medical conditions that can affect their fitness to drive.


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    Thanks so much for raising awareness about driver fatigue!