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Drowsy Truck Driver Causes Crash on Gowen Road

Posted on Dec 17, 2014

One man was hospitalized after a Tuesday morning crash

BOISE -- Idaho State Police report that a semi-truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and caused a severe motor vehicle crash yesterday morning on Gowen Road near the off-ramp from eastbound Interstate 84. The truck driver was traveling westbound when he fell asleep and veered into vehicles stopped in traffic  near the off-ramp waiting in line to turn onto Gowen Road. The truck smashed into a passenger car which pushed the car into a SUV. The crash occurred around 5:45 a..m. Idaho State Police issued a citation to the truck driver for inattentive driving. The driver of the passenger vehicle was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for injuries inflicted as a result of a crash.


Driving while distracted or drowsy remains a significant problem in the state of Idaho. Authorities report that approximately 15 accidents a day occur due to distracted driving in our state. The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that 1 out of every 6 (16.5%) deadly traffic accidents and 1 out of 8 (12.5%) motor vehicle crashes that require hospitalization of car drivers or passengers are the result of drowsy driving. (AAA, 2010). Studies show that drowsiness or sleepiness can impair driving performance as much or more so than alcohol (Dawson and Reid, 1997; Powell, 2001). The Institute of Medicine published a report in 2005 that nearly 70 million people suffer from some type of sleeping disorder.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are over 500,000 accidents a year involving semi-trucks. Approximately 5,000 of these crashes result in a fatality and many more involve serious bodily injury and severe property damage.

All truck companies and their drivers are governed by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). However, the FMVSS do not require companies to maintain their records for the entire length of the statute of limitations. Therefore, as a matter of practice when I am retained regarding an accident involving a semi, I send the trucking company and truck driver a 7 page letter called a spoliation letter.

In Idaho, once the trucking company and truck driver are placed on notice of the existence of a claim for bodily injury, a trucking company is required to take immediate efforts to maintain and preserve certain evidence, if in the attorney’s letter, the attorney sets forth with specificity what evidence the motor carrier is required to preserve. If the trucking company or driver destroys, tampers or otherwise "misplaces" the evidence, then a jury will be instructed by a judge thereafter to infer that the evidence destroyed. tampered or mishandled would be presumed to be adverse to the interest of the trucking company and truck driver. The letter requesting/ demanding the preservation of evidence is commonly referred to as a spoliation letter.


If you or a loved one received injuries as a result of an accident involving a semi-truck or a driver falling asleep at the wheel, you should consult with an experienced trial attorney. Boise Personal Injury and Semi-Truck/Big Rig AccidentTrial Lawyer Alan Morton has over 32 years of experience in helping victims of negligence understand their legal rights and remedies. You can reach Mr. Morton to schedule a free initial consultation at 208.344.5555, toll free at 888.716.8021 or by completing an online consultation form. Mr. Morton is available to schedule a free initial consultation in a confidential setting either at his office or your home, workplace, hospital or any other convenient location. Mr. Morton has been rated and recognized by AVVO, an independent lawyer rating service, with its highest ranking of 10.0 - Superb in three (3) categories of Car Accidents, Personal Injury and Litigation, respectively. Mr. Morton and his staff work hard to provide outstanding service to their clients. You may also wish to read the testimonial page of Mr. Morton’s former clients for their reviews regarding the excellent service they received as a client of Morton Law Offices, Chartered.

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Alan Morton
Advocate for Justice/Trial Lawyer