A horrific truck accident in Palm Springs, California left 13 people dead and 31 injured in 2016. The truck driver fled the state, but was recently arrested in Georgia.
According to a multi-agency fugitive task force, 51-year-old Bruce Guilford was arrested and charged with 13 counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, 12 counts of felony reckless driving causing injury and 17 misdemeanor counts of reckless driving causing injury. The agency says that Guilford fell asleep at the wheel of his truck while stopped in a construction-related traffic brake. When his lane was reopened, Guilford kept his brakes engaged and did not move. A motor coach then crashed into the back of the big-rig, killing 13 and injuring 31 passengers.
Later, California Highway Patrol revealed that Guilford frequently violated hours-of-service rules by driving more hours than he was allowed and falsifying his travel logs. Prior to the truck crash, he was likely sleep deprived.
Hours-of-Service and Driver Fatigue
Truck drivers transporting property are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. There is a 14-hour limit for consecutive hours coming on duty following 10 hours off duty. There is a 60/70 hour limit for on duty hours in 7/8 consecutive days. To restart a 7/8 consecutive day period, a driver must take 34 or more consecutive hours off.
These rules and others are intended to reduce the amount of driver fatigue in the trucking industry.
If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident caused by driver fatigue, speak to one of our skilled wrongful death attorneys.