Around 5 a.m. Aug. 28, a collision between an SUV and a semi-truck at a rural Nebraska intersection left three out of four family members from Hastings dead. The accident occurred at the intersection of Nebraska Highway 14 North and U.S. Highway 6 as the family was leaving for Texas to visit a daughter. The truck driver allegedly ran a stop sign, leading to the collision.
A man, his wife and his adult daughter all died from the injuries suffered in the crash. The fourth family member, a teenage boy, was also injured in the accident but is expected to recover from the injuries. Relatives arrived from five different states to support the teen and handle family matters. The driver, who is also from Nebraska, is being charged with manslaughter.
Following an accident involving a semi-truck, police generally conduct a thorough investigation to determine what exactly led to the crash. While most traffic accidents, including those involving large commercial vehicles, occur because of driver error, some crashes occur because of mechanical issues. For example, if the brakes on a truck fail, leading to a crash, at least part of the responsibility would lie with whoever owns the truck for neglecting to perform proper maintenance.
Because of the large size of the vehicles involved, truck accidents are likely to lead to significant injuries or even death for anyone in smaller vehicles. If any injured parties choose to seek restitution following a commercial truck accident, they may attempt to do so within the state's statute of limitations. If a driver is facing criminal charges in relation to the accident, evidence uncovered during the criminal proceedings may be used as evidence of negligence in civil proceedings.
Source: Hasting Tribune, "Third Hastings family member dies in Highway 6 collision", John Huthmacher, September 02, 2014