Following a deadly trucking accident on May 20, 2015, Tennessee officials must now decide whether the truck driver responsible for killing a teen driver should be charged. According to law, the Tennessee Highway Patrol regulates and enforces such rules.
Twenty year old Cody Judd was hauling a load of logs through the town of Cleveland in Bradley Country, Tennessee for Whitener Pulpwood and Logging—although they report he was not an employee—when he struck and killed 17-year-old Ashlyn Lamberth. Judd was not in possession of a class B license, which is required to operate a log truck.
Career truck drivers agree it’s important to have the proper licenses to operate such heavy equipment. One such driver is 13-year veteran driver Adam Lucas, who said to local reporters, “I think it’s pretty important because these trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and if you’re not careful and know what you’re doing could easily kill somebody.”
According to Tennessee Highway Patrol lieutenant John Harmon, trucks have different rules depending on their weight when driving on interstates versus local roads. The truck that Judd was driving was able to carry 10 percent extra weight because it was traveling on the interstate. The weight the truck was allowed to haul when it crashed was 44,000 pounds; however, officials aren’t releasing the actual weight of the truck’s haul yet.
Furthermore, according to Harmon, “A log truck and a chip truck is allowed 10 percent tolerance, so they can actually go 88,000 pounds on a 5-axle truck if properly registered on state roads.”
The Tennessee Highway Patrol stated that they work hard to check for violations on a constant basis. This is because “It’s important that those drivers have good tires, have their brakes adjusted, drive safe, drive the speed limit because the commercial motor vehicle is such a larger vehicle, and it’s harder for them to stop,” Harmon said.
The community of Cleveland is now petitioning to ban trucks from the busy road where the fatal accident occurred.
Watch this video to learn more about the enforcement of trucking regulations.
Based in Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis, Gilreath accident attorneys represent victims in all types of Tennessee accident lawsuits, including trucks, cars, motorcycles, boats and planes. Contact us for a free consultation so that we can get started on your case today.