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Family Hopes for New Trucking Regulations After Fatal Accident

Mario Rosales1 year ago

After nine years, closure still seems to evade the family of a 15-year-old girl who was killed in a trucking accident in Clark County, Illinois.

About the Fatal Trucking Accident

Tri-County Times reports that the family of Janelle Durk is still devastated and is still looking for answers after the death of their 15-year-old teenage daughter.  

Janelle Durk was involved in a rear-end collision with a semi-truck in Clark County, Illinois on June 5, 2006. The teenager died on a ditch on I-70 while she was with her family on the way back to Michigan.  

The family was returning from a road trip to Kansas when a semi-truck unexpectedly rear-ended their car, causing it to spin out uncontrollably. Janelle was left unconscious and she passed away shortly after the collision.

It was determined after an investigation that the driver of the 18-wheeler had fallen asleep behind the wheel.

Reaction from Community and Family

The Durk family has been actively seeking reform to change and regulate the trucking industry. The man responsible for the accident had fallen asleep. Before the incident, the man had driven for nearly 39 hours with no sleep.

This wasn’t the first time the driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel. In fact, Janelle Durk was one of three victims of the same driver. The driver is now currently serving a 10-year sentence for reckless homicide in Illinois.  

The Durk family hopes to pass meaningful reform in order to prevent these type of accidents.

Proposed Changes to the Trucking Industry

All of the following information was provided by Tri-County Times:

  • Truckers should be paid by the hour for every hour they work. Paying by the load or number of miles they drive promotes fatigue.
  • The wait time and environment in which the truck driver must wait (not being allowed to sleep for fear that they will miss their loading call, therefore resulting in being sent to the bottom of the list for an even longer wait) needs to be changed.
  • The safety record of the trucking industry cannot be justified by the fact that the trucking industry is driving more miles.  More deaths are not better, regardless of overall mileage.  This philosophy is flawed and must be changed.

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