Every year around this time, I think about the Wright family—and the head-on, high-speed semi-truck crash that almost killed them at Christmas.
The family was on their way to a Christmas party when the family vehicle was struck head-on by a semi-truck and trailer, at full highway speed.
Two of the family members suffered serious injuries. They were airlifted from the crash scene to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. (While I won’t share details in order to protect their privacy, the crash was violent and included the death of the family dog.)
Investigating the Christmas semi-truck crash
As an attorney representing the Wright family, I had to do a lot of research and investigation into the causes of this semi-truck crash.
In the initial police reports, it looked like the truck driver had swerved into the Wrights to avoid hitting another car.
But that didn’t tell the whole story.
In our own thorough investigation, and with the analyses of some expert witnesses, we determined that:
- The trucker was driving far too fast for conditions;
- He had likely been distracted by the use of his cellphone; and,
- He had violated the defensive driving standard, which holds that a professional truck driver should never turn into the oncoming lane of travel.
Trial and settlement
It was a difficult case. There was only one way to get the Wright family the compensation they deserved: take the case to trial.
I had to rely heavily on my knowledge Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, commercial truck driver and motor carrier standards of care. After two weeks in trial, we were able to resolve the semi-truck crash case for more than three million dollars.
The family members eventually recovered from most of their injuries, but they undoubtedly remember this traumatic crash every Christmas. While we can’t undo what happened to them, as their lawyers, we did the best we could with the options that our system of justice provides. I hope that it helps the Wright family to find some comfort and happiness at Christmas, every year.
– Kevin Coluccio, Seattle
Attorney Kevin Coluccio is the only Washington-based attorney to earn Board Certification in Truck Accident Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.