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Speeding Trucker Convicted for Deadly Colorado I-25 Crash

by  on  Truck Accidents

An unlicensed trucker accused of killing a Wyoming family of five on Interstate 25 in Weld County has been found guilty on a range of crimes likely to put him behind bars for decades.

The 27-year-old man was behind the wheel of a box truck that plowed into a sport utility vehicle in June 2022, according to local news reports. The victims, who were on their way home after celebrating a birthday in Denver, ranged in age from three months to 57 years old.

A jury recently convicted the man on five counts of vehicular homicide, a Fox affiliate reports. He also was found guilty on the counts of vehicular assault, careless driving, reckless driving, commercial vehicle safety violation and driving without a commercial license.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment since I got the call that they were gone,” a family member of the victims told the news outlet.

The truck was going about 76 miles per hour when it slammed into the family’s SUV, which had slowed to 10 miles per hour or less because of traffic, police said. Witnesses reported that the man was driving aggressively in the moments leading up to the crash. 

At least two other vehicles were involved in the accident, leaving another driver with minor injuries.

The truck driver did not have a valid commercial driver’s license at the time of the accident, prosecutors said. He pleaded not guilty after being charged with the crimes nearly a year after the crash.

The driver’s attorney said he is considering appealing the conviction. He said the owners of the vehicle and mechanics who “reconfigured” it were to blame for the collision.

Trucking Company Also Faces Liability

The company that owned and operated the truck is already facing civil lawsuits and investigations by regulators related to the accident.

The truck was not insured at the time of the crash, according to court documents in another case. The trucking company that owns the vehicle allegedly attempted to purchase insurance just two hours after the accident.

Records reportedly show that the now defunct trucking company had a long history of violations, including allowing drivers to get behind the wheels of vehicles without having commercial drivers licenses. Many or all of those drivers, some of whom had a laundry list of traffic violations on their driving records, allegedly were not insured.

That is not to mention problems with the trucks. 

The Colorado State Patrol determined the truck in the I-25 crash had “several violations relating to the brakes,” according to The Denver Post. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration last year fined the trucking company more than $21,000 in connection with the Weld County crash.

“It’s so raw, you’re just so angry,” another family member of the victims told the Fox affiliate. “But now it’s all about accountability.” 

“Maybe it will bring about change, that a vehicle or truck gets checked and there is something wrong with the brakes or something’s not allowed to be on the road,” he said.

Legal Rights for People Injured in Colorado Truck Accidents

The tragic accident highlights the risk that negligent truckers – and the reckless companies that employ them – pose to everyone on the road. It also details the complicated liability questions that can arise when truck accidents happen.

Here is what you need to know.

A truck driver who gets in a big rig without the required commercial driver’s license and causes an accident is likely to be legally liable for any injuries that happen as a result. A trucking company that permits and encourages drivers to hit the road without a CDL or allows them to drive off in shoddy vehicles is also likely to be liable.

Truck crashes can happen in many different ways. Some of the most common factors are driver fatigue, intoxication and just plain trucker error

That is not to mention insufficient training and oversight by trucking companies. These businesses often push truckers to stay on the road for long stretches of time and hit tight deadlines under difficult conditions, including exhaustion and extreme weather.

Trucking companies and their drivers also often cut corners when it comes to maintenance and repair. This is a recipe for disaster.

Regular maintenance and inspections are not only essential, but also required under state and federal laws. It helps prevent big rigs that spend long hours on the road from breaking down in the middle of traffic and creating safety hazards.

There is some good news for anyone injured in a truck accident in Colorado. You have the right to seek compensation for those injuries from those responsible for the crash. That often includes the trucker and his or her employer.

The money damages typically available in these cases are designed to try to put the injured person back in the financial position that he or she was in before the accident. That includes compensation for medical bills, missed wages, reduced earning capacity, property damage, and other crash-related consequences.

In the tragic situation in which a person is killed in a truck accident, his or her loved ones can seek compensation from those responsible for the collision. 

The money damages in these cases are intended to compensate family members for the financial impact of losing a loved one. That includes compensation for medical and burial costs, as well as the loss of the person’s financial and emotional support.

Colorado law limits who can pursue a wrongful death case to spouses, children and parents. In the event that a person dies without a spouse, child or parent, the personal representative of his or her estate can sue for wrongful death. State law also imposes certain caps on money damages in wrongful death cases.

Speak with a Denver Truck Accident Attorney 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash in Colorado, a Denver truck accident attorney at Levine Law can help you understand your rights and get compensation for your injuries. Our lawyers combine decades of experience and a strong track record of success in the courtroom and through negotiated settlements.

We are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver truck accident attorney.