A 61 year-old man, Chris Hulse of Magna, crashed into a semi-truck that was parked on the shoulder of I-15 near Centerville, Utah. According to the Standard Examiner, a trucker had pulled over on the southbound shoulder of the road and was parked around 5:30 a.m. when this crash happened. The trucker reported that he pulled over because of a high-wind advisory. Officers believe that it may have been these strong wind conditions that pushed Hulse’s Ford F-350 pickup truck to the right and into the rear of the parked semi. Per reports, Mr. Hulse was not wearing a seatbelt. My condolences to the family for this tragic loss.
Legally speaking, drivers are not allowed to stop on a roadway unless their vehicle is disabled. See Utah Code 41-6a-1404(1): “Outside a business or residence district, a person may not stop, park, or leave standing a vehicle, whether attended or unattended, on the roadway when it is practical to stop, park, or leave the vehicle off the roadway.”
From the reports, it appeared the trucker could have pulled his truck off the highway to wait out the storm. It’s foreseeable that a heavy wind gust can cause vehicles to swerve out of their lane. All the more reason not to stop on the freeway when the next off ramp could have been taken. The facts and the law suggest that there is a claim here for wrongful death. Wrongful death claimants in Utah include the spouse, parents and children of the deceased.