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Alcohol Containers Kept Out of Deadly Virginia Trailer-Truck Accident

July 20, 2013 by The Parrish Law Firm

A federal appellate court has ruled that beer bottles found in the cab of a trailer-truck involved in a four vehicle collision that killed three people could be kept out of evidence in a lawsuit, reports Virginia Lawyers Weekly.

Three commercial trailer-trucks were involved in an accident on Interstate 81 in Shenandoah County on April 20, 2009, as well as a Hyundai sedan. Under foggy conditions, the driver a commercial truck owned by C. Bean Transport Inc. slowed down and was hit from behind by another commercial vehicle owned by Pat Salmon and Sons Inc. The driver of the Hyundai sedan then collided with the commercial vehicle, and was subsequently hit from behind by a third commercial vehicle owned by Pitt Ohio Express LLC, which crushed the sedan into the second truck.

Two people in the Hyundai were killed in the accident, and a passenger in the truck owned by Pat Salmon and Sons Inc. also died.

Harrisonburg U.S. District Judge Michael F. Urbanski oversaw the trial that began when Pitt Ohio looked to gain contributions from the two other commercial vehicle owners for their liability in the accident and the subsequent settlements. The court ruled that C. Bean Transport Inc. and Pat Salmon and Sons Inc. pay $687,500 each.

The parties filed an appeal, citing that the court should have allowed testimony as to alcohol containers found in the cab of the Pitt Ohio Express LLC.

However, in order to include evidence as to drunk driving under Virginia law, there needs to be indication that the driver’s speech, disposition, manner, muscular movement, or general appearance or behavior is impaired. There is no such evidence in this case.

We will keep you updated as this story unfolds.

Parrish Law Firm, PLLC works with northern Virginia residents who have been injured by drunk drivers and are looking for fair compensation for their suffering. James Parrish, the founding attorney, is an experience personal injury attorney who will fight for your rights. Contact us today at 703-906-4229 or send us an email and tell us about your case.

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