Toddler killed, woman and other children injured in crash

Location: Union County, Arkansas

Plaintiff: Confidential
Defendant: Confidential 
Amount: Confidential settlement 
Alleged Injuries: Negligence and wrongful death in an auto accident that killed a toddler and injured members of her family.

Description: The plaintiff, a woman in her 30s, was driving with her three children westbound on a two-lane highway outside of Strong, Arkansas, on a sunny July afternoon. The defendant was driving eastbound in an F-150 pickup truck owned by his employer when he fell asleep while driving, veered across the center line, and collided head-on with the plaintiff’s SUV. The plaintiff’s vehicle came to rest with the front end crushed in a drainage ditch.

The plaintiff’s 20-month-old daughter was killed in the accident despite being in a child safety seat, and her 5-year-old son was seriously injured. The plaintiff also suffered serious injuries and endured multiple surgeries. In addition to long-term physical pain and injuries, she and her surviving children suffered ongoing mental and emotional trauma as a result of the crash and the death of the youngest child.

The defendant had been on his way home from work when the accident happened. According to his deposition testimony, he had gotten only about six hours of sleep total in the two nights prior to the crash. Wilkes & McHugh attorneys argued that the defendant’s employer was liable in the accident as well as the driver because the truck had been provided as part of the employee’s compensation, it was maintained by the employer, and all of the expenses related to the truck (gas, insurance, etc.) were covered by the employer. The driver possessed and drove that vehicle for the benefit of his employer, and on the date of this accident he was driving that vehicle home from work for the benefit of his employer, our attorneys argued.

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