State Trooper Dies in Tragic Car Accident – Trucker Charged
Last March on his way to Kentucky, a truck driver named Andrew Bokelman fell asleep behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer carrying a 9,000-pound load; he had just finished working a 12-hour shift before driving again on this night.
His truck veered off and struck an Illinois State Trooper, James Sauter, as he sat in his car, killing the officer. Bokelman is now being charged for the crash.
Facts of the Fatal Truck Accident
- At about 11:00 pm on March 28, twenty-six-year-old Bokelman dozed off behind the wheel of the truck-trailer he was driving to Kentucky.
- When he awoke his truck was on fire, and he had smashed into a patrol vehicle, pushing it 540 feet along the center median of the highway.
- Twenty-eight year old State Trooper Sauter, who had been serving since 2008, was behind that wheel and died almost instantly.
- Investigators said Bokelman had worked from approximately 6:30 am to 6:30 pm loading and unloading trucks; between 7:14 pm and 7:34 pm the truck Bokelman was operating began driving again; then again at 8:49 pm until the crash occurred at 11:03 pm.
Truck Driver Charged for Officers Death
According to prosecutors, Bokelman is now being charged with the failure to follow federal safety laws designed to keep tired drivers off the road: driving after a work period of 14 consecutive hours without taking 10 consecutive hours off; operating a commercial vehicle while fatigued and falsely reporting himself as eligible to drive when he was not.
Bokelman was also fined $2,500 after being found to have worked more than 14 hours before the crash.
Contact an Experienced Trucking Accident Attorney
Thomas J. Henry have handled a multitude of 18-wheeler accidents over the past two decades and continue to handle many of the largest 18-wheeler accident cases throughout the United States. Whether the company is small or large, our success is not an accident; it is because we understand how trucking companies operate. We represent clients/victims all over the country.
Thomas J. Henry are available to respond to trucking accidents at any hour, day or night. Our lawyers understand that the immediate acquisition, or acquiring, of evidence is paramount to understanding how the accident occurred. Remember, your choice does matter. Contact our offices – we are available 24/7, nights and weekends.