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Attempt to re-connect trailer leads to driver's death

Attempting to fix a malfunctioning automobile while the car is stopped in the traffic lane of a highway can be very dangerous, even deadly. In a recent car accident involving an attempt to repair a disabled trailer, a Virginia man was killed as he was trying to re-attach a utility trailer to his pickup truck while it was stopped in the northbound traffic lane of Route 460 in Sussex County.

The decedent was towing a trailer behind his Dodge Dakota pickup when the trailer somehow became disconnected from the truck. The driver came to a stop but could not pull off the road without leaving the trailer in the traffic lane. Instead, he opted to attempt to reconnect the trailer while both the truck and the trailer remained in the traffic lane. Unfortunately, another northbound driver crashed into the rear of the trailer.

The driver was caught between the trailer and his truck, and he suffered severe crush injuries. He was taken to a nearby hospital and died the next day. The driver caused the collision was arrested and charged with reckless driving. More charges may be forthcoming after the commonwealth's attorney reviews the case.

The criminal aspects of this case will not be nearly as interesting to the dead man's family as the potential of recovering wrongful death damages from the driver whose carelessness apparently caused the accident. Many questions remain, such as whether the deceased had been negligent when he first attached the trailer to his truck and whether he had any means of moving the trailer out of the traffic lane before attempting to reattach it. Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in similar circumstance may wish to consult an experienced auto accident attorney for an evaluation of the case and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Source:, "Man dies from injuries after being pinned in Sussex County crash," Kevin Green, Jan. 17, 2018

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