At first, the tractor-trailer crash that killed Maine State Police Det. Benjamin Campbell was labeled a "freak accident" — something incredible that happened only by chance and could not have been predicted. A police investigation, however, says that the crash wasn't caused by something strange at all, but rather, it was the result of negligence.
Campbell was 31 years old when he died, and he is survived by his wife and son, who was 6 months old at the time of Campbell's death.
Two years after Campbell's tragic death, the state is continuing to honor his legacy and answer questions about what went wrong that snowy morning. Recently, Gov. Janet Mills ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Campbell, who died in April 2019 while assisting a stranded motorist. On that morning, Campbell had stopped on I-95 in Hampden to help a driver who had spun out of control on a slippery patch of ice.
Faulty truck wheel results in fatal accident
While helping the driver to safety, Campbell was fatally injured when he was struck by a tractor-trailer wheel that had detached from a passing logging truck.
A little over a month after the fatal crash, the Maine State Police completed an investigation into the accident. They found that Campbell had been following proper protocol while helping the stranded driver. They also determined the loose wheels that fell off the truck should have been noticed during an inspection or when the new tires were mounted several weeks before the crash. Police allege the wheel assemblies showed cracks and were broken or bent in some places, but still passed inspection.
The inspector who failed to notice the damage was given a six-month suspension — the maximum allowed for a first-time offender. The Penobscot County District Attorney does not appear to have filed criminal charges against the inspector or trucking company.
Common types of trucking accidents
Commercial vehicles, like big rigs and garbage trucks, get into about 1,100 traffic accidents per year in Maine, according to the state. The number of people killed in these crashes has been rising since 2014. Most recently, nearly 30 people died in Maine commercial vehicle accidents in one year.
Some of the most common types of truck accidents involve:
- Truck rollovers
- Rear-end collisions
- Jackknife crashes
- Equipment failure
- Trucker inexperience and/or negligence
The common theme with all of these crashes is negligence, and far too many truck accidents are the result of reckless actions by truckers and/or trucking companies.
Our law firm stands up for injured Mainers
Commercial truck crashes can be some of the most violent and devastating types of accidents. When someone dies in an accident with a tractor-trailer due to negligence, the victim's family can pursue justice by filing a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court.
For more than 40 years, Jabar LaLiberty, LLC, has been protecting the legal rights of truck accident victims and fighting for the financial compensation they're entitled to. Our law firm has a deep understanding of the state and federal laws that might apply to your case, and we know how to conduct thorough investigations to find evidence that can support your claim.
Contact us in Maine today for a free case evaluation, and find out how an experienced truck accident lawyer can help you. Our offices are located in Waterville and Portland, and our attorneys would be happy to review the details of your case.