A 62-year-old truck driver from Riverside, California is facing manslaughter and aggravated assault charges after causing a deadly crash on November 24 that killed a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) detention deputy. The accident happened on State Route 85 in Buckeye, which is just outside of Phoenix.
According to court documents, Jorge Yanez Campos was supposed to be sleeping when the accident occurred due to FMCS hours-of-service regulations. Court documents also show that the truck driver’s license was suspended in California when the accident occurred. Campos’ license was suspended for failure to appear at a court hearing related to another accident.
The deputy killed in the accident has been identified as Justin Folsome. There were four other people injured in the crash who were treated at local hospitals.
Details of the crash
Court documents show that Campos was driving his truck northbound on State Route 85 headed towards an intersection at MC 85 where there was a red light. There were four vehicles stopped at the light. Investigators found that Campos was driving at 55 MPH and did not attempt to slow down or stop for the red light, hitting Folsome’s vehicle first.
The commercial truck drove over the top of Folsome’s vehicle and struck the vehicle in front of his. That vehicle then struck the vehicle in front of it, leading to a chain-reaction crash.
The probable cause documents stated, “When asked about the crash, Campos said he looked up and saw the vehicles stopped in front of him and he could not stop. Campos also told troopers on scene that he may have blacked out due to high blood sugar, which he had taken medication for earlier in the (morning).”
Violation of hours-of-service rules
Campos emptied the cargo in his truck on November 23 in Tempe and drove to Nogales to pick up more cargo that was to be delivered to California. The investigation found that Campos logged off from his electronic logbook in Nogales and entered the sleeping berth of his truck, also on November 23.
The next time the logbook shows an entry is on November 24 when Campos was located in Eloy, Arizona. Eloy is almost two hours away from Nogales. The FMCSA does not permit truck drivers to drive when logged off (off-duty status) or are supposed to be in the sleeper berth of their trucks.
The probable cause document went on to state that “A driver that is in sleeper berth status would be unable to drive the vehicle from Nogales to Eloy. Driving a vehicle while claiming sleeper berth time is a common tactic to manipulate hours of service time limits.”
Commercial truck drivers are required to follow the hours-of-service regulations set forth by the FMCSA. Truck accidents can lead to serious injuries and death. The compassionate, experienced team at Plattner Verderame, P.C. understands what it takes to help truck accident victims receive compensation. Call our office at 602-266-2002 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation. We operate offices in Phoenix and Tempe to better serve our clients.
I have been active in leadership in the Arizona Association for Justice (lawyers who represent injured folks, and formerly known as the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association) since 1985. I served as President in 1991. I was an active participant in battles to protect the Arizona Constitution from the insurance industry and big business interests in 1986, 1990 and 1994.
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