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Lawyer Blog: Baltimore, MD

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Accident Results in Death of Truck Driver

A 57-year-old truck driver was killed on August 10, 2008, when a woman fell asleep at the wheel, crossed into oncoming traffic, and caused him to lose control of his truck which plunged off the bridge. According to this Washington Post report, 19-year-old Candy Lynn Baldwin admitted to reporters and Maryland police officials that she had fallen asleep at the wheel around 4 a.m. that morning. She told reporters at The Post she was exhausted that morning after getting little sleep over her mother’s wedding weekend.

Queen Anne’s County State Attorney, Frank M. Kratovil Jr., said his office’s investigation found that no criminal charges against Baldwin would be brought as she was not found to be grossly negligent in this Maryland car accident. But according to the National Transportation Safety Board, significant sleep loss degrades hand-eye reflexes in a way that is equivalent to blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent which constitutes being legally drunk in most states.

Drivers operating a vehicle while suffering from sleep deprivation have been found to be grossly negligent and convicted of vehicular manslaughter in many states and countries around the world. In 2005, a Maryland appeals court affirmed a drowsy driver’s gross negligence manslaughter conviction—concluding that “the deliberate failure of a driver to heed clear warning signs of drowsiness is evidence of a reckless disregard for human life.”

Despite the decision in this case, thousands of people throughout the country are needlessly killed and injured each year as a result of people operating vehicles while impaired by sleep deprivation or alcohol consumption. Maryland personal injury attorney Steven H. Heisler has represented many clients hurt in such accidents and has helped them recover millions of dollars in damages to offset medical and other expenses.

This Baltimore auto accident injury lawyer offers free consultations to clients and will launch an immediate investigation into the accident which caused death or injuries. His Maryland car accident injury law firm represents a wide range of people who have suffered personal injuries, and Mr. Heisler and his staff have earned the reputation of being very tough with rich insurance companies. Don’t get pushed around by rich insurance companies—call Steven H. Heisler today at 877-228-4878.