Pennsylvania Sues for Highway Damage
October 13, 1998
Oct. 14 – The state of Pennsylvania is suing the estate of a truck driver and his employer after a Memorial Day accident that caused $2.7 million in damage to Interstate 95.
The suit accuses Samuel Coraluzzo Co., based in Vineland, NJ, and driver Keith Thomas of negligence and carelessness, reports the Associated Press.
Thomas was driving a tanker truck loaded with gasoline when he swerved into oncoming traffic about two miles north of the Delaware state line. The truck jumped the median, ran into a pickup truck and burst into flames. Both drivers were killed.
The fire caused the roadway to buckle and damaged the bridge over a small creek bed. The highway was closed for 33 hours and took more than a month to repair.
Coraluzzo paid $11,000 in fines for violating federal safety regulations, including hours of service. Although he had just begun working when he crashed, the day before the accident, Thomas went five hours over the limit of 70 hours in eight days.
Although an eyewitness said a car swerved in front of Thomas’ truck, state police later concluded driver fatigue was the cause.