Legal questions surround why a truck driver killed in a crash on Interstate 26 in Asheville, N.C., who was driving a construction company’s 28,000 pound 1997 Ford flatbed truck, was allowed to drive the vehicle despite not having Commercial Driver's License, also known as a CDL.
According to the Asheville Police Department, the 21-year-old driver, from Pacolet, S.C., who was driving the truck when it crashed, should not have been operating the truck because he did not have his CDL, something that is required by anyone operating the vehicle because of its large size.
The victim was driving the truck westbound on I-26 near the juncture with I-40 split when the accident happened. Witnesses told police they saw the truck swerve from the left lane into the right lane. Police say this swerve caused the load on the truck to shift and the driver lost control of the vehicle. The truck flipped over several times and the victim was ejected. He was transported to Mission Hospital with severe head trauma and was listed in critical condition. He died from his injuries two days later.
The construction company that owns the truck the victim was driving is contracted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) for work throughout Buncombe County. A NCDOT spokesperson said that his preliminary investigation revealed the victim was not on his way to a DOT work site, however, that investigation is continuing.
One of the most common causes of commercial truck accidents is lack of experience or training of truck drivers. However, as stated above, North Carolina requires that any person operating a vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds or more hold a legal CDL license. The family of the young victim may want to consult with an experienced North Carolina wrongful death attorney to find out what legal recourse they may have against the construction company for assigning their loved one such a dangerous job when he did not have the legal credentials to do so.