Personal Injury Blog

Truck Driver Faces 20 Years in Prison After Fatal Maryland Truck Accident

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 violation of 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.