A young mother and her child were recently driving west on US Highway 74 from Lake Lure to Asheville to visit relatives for the holidays. As the young women rounded a sharp curve about half-way into her trip, she encountered a tractor-trailer headed in the opposite direction. US Highway 74 is a restricted road, and it is illegal for tractor-trailers to travel it.
While the tractor was completely in its lane, the wheels of the trailer were more than half way across her lane. She braked immediately, and because of her low speed for the curve, she stopped in an instant, but it was not soon enough. The trailer tires rolled right over the front of her small compact car. This phenomena is commonly known as “off-tracking,” and it happens on a regular basis in Western North Carolina.
The tractor-trailer did not slow down, nor did it stop, and it was gone before the young driver really knew what had happened. Fortunately, there was an eyewitness behind her, who turned around and followed the dangerous trucker until he was apprehended by the State Highway Patrol in Lake Lure. The trucker denied any knowledge that he’d run over the small car, but his companion in the truck told a different story. The trucker was charged with hit and run, operating a commercial motor vehicle on a restricted road, as well as other charges.
The truck drivers who drive on restricted roads and cause collisions due to “off tracking” are liable for the property damage and personal injuries their carelessness causes. At Davis Law Group, we aggressively pursue claims against truck drivers, and the companies that dispatch them, for causing serious accidents in the mountains of North Carolina. All truck drivers who drive through Western North Carolina have a list of roads and highways that are restricted to large vehicles. It is well known, and well publicized, that certain roads are too narrow to safely accommodate a large truck. To drive on a restricted road constitutes gross negligence and would justify a verdict for punitive damages.