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Trucker dies from heart attack after tractor-trailer crash

The difference in size between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle can result in catastrophic and fatal consequences to automobile occupants. However, truck drivers also suffer health problems from their occupations, which jeopardize other drivers and themselves, and can lead to a truck accident.

The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has reported that truck drivers face an increased risk of on-the-job mortality and illness. For 2004, U.S. truck drivers were seven times more likely to die on the job and 25 times more likely to suffer an occupational injury or illness than the average worker. Truckers confront health issues, such as fatigue, sleep deprivation, stress and chemical exposure according to NIOSH.

A 48-year-old log truck driver died from a heart attack after a tractor-trailer crash on McCords Ferry Road in Richland County earlier this month. The accident occurred when the truck struck the rear of a Honda Fit around 11:00 a.m. near the Highway 601 Bridge across the Congaree River. Both drivers safely got out of their vehicles before fires started in the car and the truck. The truck driver then suffered a fatal heart attack and died at the accident scene. Stress from the tractor-trailer accident caused the heart attack, according to the county coroner.

The other driver was uninjured. The road was closed for 8 hours so that emergency crews could clean up the debris where the vehicle was hit by an 18-wheeler in this accident.

A truck accident victim may be entitled to compensation for injuries and loss wages caused by a driver who did not exercise due care, a driver who drove while impaired or for injuries caused by defective vehicles or equipment. A truck driver exposed to occupational hazards may also seek compensation. Investigations should begin promptly to obtain evidence, police report and eyewitness statements. Time periods often restrict the time for filing a civil action.

Source: WOSTV 10, "Coroner: Heart attack killed log truck driver after wreck," Jason Old, Feb. 7, 2013.

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