A tractor-trailer crash in North Carolina recently killed a 19-year-old girl on N.C. Highway 258 in Onslow County, after officials say the young woman crossed the center lane and struck the trailer head-on.
According to WNCT CBS North Carolina, the teen was traveling south on the highway in her Jeep Cherokee at around 3:30 in the afternoon. After crossing the center line, she struck the northbound trailer head-on. Troopers with the North Carolina Highway Patrol say neither speed nor alcohol was a likely factor in the crash, and they do not expect charges to be filed against the truck driver.
So where does this leave the heartbroken family of this young girl? From a civil liability standpoint, there may be few options, but it’s always worth at least speaking to an attorney. It does not appear, simply based on the cursory facts we know, that the trucker was negligent. It’s plausible distraction was a factor, given that we know speed and impairment were not factors and that teens have a higher propensity to be distracted by cell phones than their older cohorts. As injury attorneys, we might examine the design of the highway to determine whether there are any defects or dangerous conditions that might have played a role, although no source has suggested that as a possibility at this point. We might also look at the make and model of the vehicle and determine whether there were any defects or dangerous conditions there that could have been a factor.