Family members of a man who died in a multiple-vehicle crash on Interstate 15 near Riverdale last August 23 have filed a wrongful death suit against two other drivers involved in the incident. Ryan Chambers and his four-year-old daughter Evelynn were killed in the crash. Chambers’ wife and seven-year-old daughter, who were also in the car when it was struck from behind and pushed into a semi-truck, survived the crash.
The conditions for the crash were set in motion when a large wooden doghouse fell from a truck travelling north on I-15. The Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) arrived at the scene and proceeded to slow traffic and direct it around the debris until it could be cleared.
The Chambers’ car was stopped for this delay when another car crashed into it, forcing it under the truck ahead of them. The UHP report on the accident determined that the driver who struck them did not brake at all. The Weber County District Attorney, who has jurisdiction over the case, announced in March that no charges would be filed.
Serious criminal charges are not in the works, and the other charges in the case are minor. The driver who struck Chambers faces only the infraction of following too closely and a misdemeanor charge of speeding. The driver of the truck that lost the doghouse, who had continued driving and was only identified later, was fined $310 for failing to secure his cargo.
Chambers’ wife, his surviving daughter, and his parents have filed the wrongful death suit against the truck driver who lost the load and the driver of the car which crashed into them. They’ve also named the car driver’s employer, as she was on her way to a work appointment at the time of the crash. The suit alleges negligence by the truck driver for not securing the load, and by the car driver. In addition to the negligence of not braking, the suit claims she was on multiple medications at the time of the crash. The family is seeking at least $300,000 in damages.
This tragedy was a great loss to the Chambers family but it’s also indicative of a larger problem that all drivers should be aware of. Traffic fatalities have been up in Utah every year since 2013. Speed and distracted driving both appear to be contributing factors, but debris on the roadway—much of it the fallout from unsecured loads—is a big enough problem that both the Utah Department of Transportation and the UHP have tried to raise public awareness about the dangers.
Debris in the roadway can cause damage directly, but it also causes other drivers to make unexpected maneuvers which can lead to crashes with other vehicles. Drivers should stay alert at all times, and they should report dangerous debris to improve road safety for others.
If you have been injured or a family member has been injured or killed in a crash caused by another driver, you should seek qualified professional assistance to help you navigate through the legal proceedings that will result. At Craig Swapp & Associates, we understand the complex issues involved in the overlap of auto accident law and wrongful death law. Talk to us today to discuss your case, free of charge. You can reach us by calling 1-800-404-9000, completing the form at the bottom of this page, or launching our LiveChat feature from any page of this website.