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Details begin to emerge in fatal Missouri truck accident on I-435

Investigators recently issued a preliminary report regarding a crash that occurred just days after Christmas on Interstate 435. Even though some unanswered questions remain, a truck driver involved in the wreck could face criminal charges in connection with the incident. The Missouri truck accident claimed the lives of five people -- three of whom were children under the age of 3.

According to the details released thus far, a passenger car occupied by five people was either moving exceedingly slow or was stopped on the interstate. One vehicle even had to swerve around the slow-moving car in order to avoid colliding with it. Ultimately, a tractor-trailer slammed into the back of the car, killing the driver, her three children, and a 17-year-old friend.

The investigation determined that the truck driver's line of sight was in no way obstructed, and the 56-year-old man apparently had time to at least attempt to maneuver around the car. Instead, he allegedly never even slowed down or took any evasive action prior to the collision. He and his truck were examined to determine whether any impairment or mechanical issue factored into the accident, and neither is believed to be a contributing cause.

Kansas City police are also attempting to ascertain why the car was moving so slowly on the interstate. The vehicle will be examined to determine whether it ran out of gas or had a mechanical issue of some kind. A reconstruction of the crash is not yet complete.

It may be determined that the driver of the car was partially responsible for the truck accident. Therefore, if a civil court determines that both she and the truck driver were negligent, any award the car driver's family may receive because of a successful wrongful death claim would be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to her under Missouri's doctrine of comparative negligence. This would not apply to any damages awarded to the family of the deceased passenger.

Source: kansascity.com, "KC police report: Big rig did not slow before I-435 crash that killed five", Tony Rizzo, Jan. 6, 2015

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