Our client’s lawsuit seeks to hold a trucking company, its driver, and the truck and its components’ makers accountable for husband’s wrongful death in a trucking accident.
The cause of a truck accident is often far more complicated than it seems. Often multiple parties may play a role in the accident. Mike Andrews, a lawyer in our Personal Injury & Products Liability Section, and co-counsel Jeffrey L. Edwards, PA, in Oklahoma, found that to be the case in a tragic truck accident in Muskogee County, Oklahoma.
Mike represents Gabrielle Celeste Reaves, the widow of Steven Hunter Reaves. Mr. Reaves was traveling northbound on Oklahoma State Highway 351 on April 16, 2021, in a 2004 Dodge 1500 pickup. Meanwhile, Roy Earl Jackson, an employee with Conway Courier Service, was driving a Peterbilt tractor-trailer southbound on the same highway. Mr. Jackson’s tractor suddenly veered left. It struck the cable barrier, crossed the median, and collided with Mr. Reaves’ pickup in the northbound lanes. Mr. Reaves died instantly.
Mrs. Reaves filed a lawsuit holding Mr. Jackson responsible for failing to operate his tractor-trailer safely. She also sued Conway Courier Services for failing to properly train Mr. Jackson to use its commercial vehicle.
A year after the fatal accident, the tractor-trailer that crashed into Mr. Reaves’ pickup was recalled. PACCAR, the maker of the tractor-trailer, recalled 18,000 Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks due to a design defect in the vehicles’ components. The issue “can result in a loss of steering, increasing the risk of a crash or injury,” the recall notice said. PACCAR became aware of the defect as early as August 2020, but failed to issue a recall in a timely manner. If they had, Mr. Reaves would likely be alive today. As a result, Mrs. Reaves’s lawsuit also names PACCAR, and the makers of the tractor-trailer’s components, Dana Incorporated and Nucor Incorporated.
“Mr. Reaves’s wrongful death is a tragic example of what can happen when truck drivers, trucking companies, and manufacturers of tractor-trailers and their components fail to prioritize the safety of others,” Mike says. “Nothing can bring Mr. Reaves back to his family. But, we will work tirelessly to ensure Mrs. Reaves gets justice and the compensation she deserves.”