Authored by Allan Siegel
Christopher and Diana Schmidt were moving from Gaithersburg, Maryland to
California in September of last year. Diana Schmidt packed their two young
sons in her family sedan and Christopher Schmidt followed in his Mustang.
In the early morning hours of September 9, 2012, they were stuck in the
traffic of a fatal accident on I-80 in Nebraska. Christopher Schmidt's
Mustang was the last vehicle in a long line of traffic, when a tractor
trailer barreled into him at full speed.
The truck driver had been driving non-stop since 3:00 pm the afternoon
before. His records show that he was traveling from Milwaukee to Cheyenne
County, and he had been driving for 15 hours straight. This was in clear
commercial regulations, which required him to rest when driving for long intervals. Forensic
evidence revealed that the driver was asleep at the wheel, and never slowed
to avoid hitting the Mustang.
The Mustang was pushed into the Corolla, which was then pushed underneath
the tractor trailer in front of it and burst into flames. Forensics also
revealed that Diana Schmidt was 30 weeks pregnant at the time of the accident.
The truck driver was charged with 5 counts of manslaughter, which included
the vehicular homicide of an unborn fetus. The driver has entered into
a plea deal allowing for aggregate sentences in return for the prosecution
recommending no more than 20 years in prison. Justice has been served
for the Schmidt family, but the tragedy is far from over. Their remaining
family members will be left with the financial hardship of possible medical,
funeral, and estate costs.
The trucking company and truck driver should be held fully responsible
for these costs along with the pain and suffering of the victims and their
remaining family. In times like these, an experienced Maryland personal
injury lawyer from Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel. P.C. can
file suit to help hold the right people accountable and to receive proper
compensation for the family left behind.