At the time of the crash, which occurred at approximately 6:30 a.m., the driver of the vehicle, a 50-year-old man, was apparently several hours into his truck driving shift that started at 1:30 a.m. Authorities indicate that the cause of the accident was the driver dozing off behind the wheel. When he did so, the out-of-control truck entered into oncoming traffic. Though he awoke and tried to stop the truck, it was to no avail. In addition, it is believed that at the time of the crash he was driving too fast.
Following the incident the man was taken into custody. Though alcohol is not suspected to have played a role in the crash, nonetheless, the man submitted to a blood test. The man was charged with:
- Two counts of homicide by vehicle.
- Nine counts of aggravated assault.
- Two counts of involuntary manslaughter.
- Reckless endangerment.
- Speeding and driving violations.
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It is likely that civil lawsuits will be filed in connection with the crash as well. Family of the two who died could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and any other entity deemed responsible for the incident. Likewise, the survivors who were hurt might seek financial compensation for their injuries as well.
Source: NBC Philadelphia, “Tractor-Trailer Pins Cars Against Dunkin’ Donuts Sign in ‘Horrifying’ Deadly Allentown Pike Crash,” Alison Burdo and Dan Stamm, Nov. 20, 2014