March 25, 2008–Last year there was a fatal accident in Kings County involving a motor vehicle and a forklift driver. At about 1am 2 workers for the Island District Honey Company were loading beehives in the dark on a county road. Both lanes of travel were blocked. The second worker was the lookout and had taken a break to relieve himself in the field when the car approached. Although the flatbed truck they were loading had it’s emergency blinkers on, the driver could not see them until it was too late. The forklift driver was killed immediately. The driver of the vehicle, who was on a taco run, sustained fractures to both legs in addition to other serious injuries. She was airlifted for emergency medical care.
Through discovery we were able to establish that 5 or 6 vehicle code violations had occurred including the failure to use cones or even an effective lookout before completely blocking traffic. The owner of the company testified that they had done nothing wrong and that the same practices were still continuing. This contributed greatly to the value of the case.
The moral of the story is to, of course, slow down when approaching any type of activity in the dark and to use great caution when requiring others to stop as you block traffic. It is not enough to simply have your lights on to warn oncoming traffic that both lanes are blocked. If you have been involved in a similar accident, please call the law firm of Nelson & Rozier for a free consultation. www.nelsonrozier.com