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Man arrested for cellphone use which caused truck accident

On July 31, New Jersey State Police arrested a 55-year-old truck driver and charged him with vehicular homicide. Authorities say the defendant lied to them about his role in the fatal Bergen County, New Jersey, truck accident and that's why they also charged him with third-degree hindering apprehension.

Police say that on June 9 the truck driver was using his phone and manipulating its touchscreen when he became distracted while on the New Jersey Turnpike. Some time around 5 p.m. authorities say the man was in the southbound lane when he failed to reduce the speed of his 1996 Kenworth truck as traffic slowed in front of him.

The defendant's tractor-trailer plowed into the back of another vehicle which led to a chain of subsequent accidents which ultimately killed a 43-year-old Harrison, New Jersey, man. The victim was a father of two daughters and was also a musician and a medical technology instructor. Several other people were also injured in the massive wreck.

The recent arrest came nearly two months after the accident. Long enough for investigators to execute a court order allowing them to review the defendant's cellphone records, call logs and other pertinent data. The defendant has an extensive prior history of vehicle citations including one just three months prior to the wreck for using a cell phone while driving.

New Jersey highways act as a major conduit for much of the commercial tractor-trailer traffic along the eastern seaboard. As a consequence of that heavy volume, New Jersey motorists frequently fall victim to jackknifed trucks, multi-vehicle crashes and a litany of smaller delivery truck accidents.

Trucks are inherently large and heavy. Even minor collisions can cause serious head injuries or other permanent disabilities which may require costly medical care. Motorists injured as a result of a distracted or impaired truck driver should know that there are legal avenues which can assist them in obtaining compensation for their medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "Trucker charged with vehicular homicide after alleged cellphone use led to fatal crash in Carlstadt" Stefanie Dazio and Abbott Koloff, Aug. 01, 2014

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