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By Jonathan Bechtel
Founding Partner

Three people were killed in a tractor-trailer accident early Sunday morning on Interstate 91 South in Wethersfield, Connecticut. The crash involving the large truck and another vehicle shut down the interstate for several hours before it later reopened. Recent news articles regarding the accident can be read here: 


State police report that a tractor-trailer was parked on the right shoulder of I-91 South, north of Exit 25, at around 4:53 a.m. A second automobile, an SUV, was traveling south on I-91. It collided with the rear of the large truck. The three individuals who died were identified as, Kory Watson, 41, of Virginia, Lacy Marie Price, 32, and Rebbecca Marie Schutte, 36, both from Florida, also died.

Three other occupants of the SUV were treated at a nearby hospital for minor injuries. 

It is not understood why the crash happened or how the SUV managed to veer into the back of the tractor-trailer. The accident remains under investigation.

Possible legal issues

The three surviving victims may have sustained relatively minor issues, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be substantial medical expenses to treat them. Ambulatory services alone, for instance, could result in steep medical bills. The victims in this case were treated at the hospital, which is usually costly. There may also be lost wages due to the time spent in the hospital or otherwise recovering from injuries.

If evidence indicates that the driver of the SUV was engaged in some type of negligence, the survivors can maintain a personal injury lawsuit against that individual and/or the insurance company that insured the vehicle. This is so, even though the driver passed away. Under the Connecticut Survival of Actions Statute (Connecticut General Statutes § 52-599): 

“A cause or right of action shall not be lost or destroyed by the death of any person, but shall survive in favor of or against the executor or administrator of the deceased person.”

It may turn out that the tractor-trailer driver was negligent. That may be the case, for instance, because Connecticut General Statutes § 14-251 provides:

“No vehicle shall be permitted to remain stationary within the limits of a public highway in such a manner as to constitute a traffic hazard or obstruct the free movement of traffic thereon….”

Additionally, tractor trailers are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  According to the regulations, if a vehicle is stopped on a highway or shoulder for any reason other than a necessary traffic stop, the driver must turn on the vehicle’s hazard warning system, which is to be left on until the vehicle’s external warning devices are in position.  Additionally, warning devices must be placed within 10 minutes in three locations.  The full text of the FMCSA regulation can be found here:

Retaining an experienced truck accident attorney after an accident is essential to protecting your rights and getting you the compensation you deserve

If you or a loved one is ever involved in an accident involving a truck, tractor trailer, or large commercial motor vehicle, it’s imperative that you speak with an experienced Connecticut truck accident attorney right away.  When accidents like this one occur, the trucking companies start investigating and preparing their defense right away, often while the injured parties are still seeking medical treatment.  Additionally, they are required to preserve and protect certain documentation in a crash like this one.  Thus, it is imperative that an injured party hire an experienced attorney right away.  

Regardless of the events involved, or why you believe the accident occurred, let an experienced truck accident attorney evaluate the situation. Many law firms you see advertise on t.v., radio, and billboard claim to have experience handling tractor trailer crash cases. However, far too often these firms lack the experience to know when you have a case, or take the necessary steps to determine whether or not the tractor trailer is responsible for your injuries. Recently, we handled a case for a couple that was turned down by the big firms you see advertising on TV, radio, and billboards.  Due to the facts contained in the police report, they were told they didn’t have a case. Luckily, they did not give up and they found Stanfield Bechtel Law. We quickly recognized that they did have a case and agreed to represent them.  In the end, we were able to secure a multi-million dollar settlement on their behalf. A link to their review on that case can be found here:

 At Stanfield Bechtel Law we have extensive experience handling crashes involving large trucks and tractor trailers.  In fact, prior to helping injured people fight large tractor trailer companies we used to work for the tractor trailer companies.  We defended these cases for the trucking companies.  This has given us a unique perspective on the rules and regulations that govern the trucking industry as well as the strategies trucking companies use to evaluate, defend, and value cases.

If you were injured by a tractor trailer or other large commercial motor vehicle, give Stanfield Bechtel Law a call today to learn more about your legal rights.  Allow us to put your unique experience to work for you in getting you the money you deserve.

About the Author
Jonathan believes the client should always come first, and aims to deliver a positive experience to exceed client expectations.