A construction worker who pulled over to attempt to help a motorist in trouble accidentally backed over two people Thursday night as he was maneuvering his dump truck at the scene. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 29-year-old male tried to drive his pickup truck through a construction zone in Palm Coast when he became stuck in some soft mud. The driver of the pickup truck enlisted the help a female friend and her boyfriend who also arrived on the scene. The trio then flagged down the construction worker in the dump truck.
The driver of the dump truck, a 60-year-old local construction worker, agreed to try to pull the pickup truck from the mud. After several unsuccessful attempts, the group gave up and the dump truck began to back up. The driver did not realize the 29-year-old pickup driver and the female friend were behind his truck and he backed over them. First responders were notified, but both victims died of their injuries at the scene.
Thursday’s incident is a sad reminder that anyone who is in the vicinity of persons operating heavy machinery need to stay in the clear while it is in motion, and that heavy machinery operators need ensure no one is in their path before moving. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles requires that all construction workers that operate a truck weighing 26,001 lbs. or more to obtain a Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). In addition to taking a written test, drivers must perform a demonstration of their driving skill and are quizzed by test administrators on safe operation of the vehicle. Backing up is mandatory skill that must be performed safely in order to pass the test.
Not only is a CDL required for most local construction jobs, but many companies also require some type of safety training or certification as a condition of employment. While Thursday night’s accident did not involve work at a specific job site, the dump truck was licensed to a local construction company who had been performing work near the scene. Unfortunately, the inexperience of the victims, coupled with low light conditions may have been contributing factors in the accident.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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