Today’s vehicles are much stronger and more sophisticated than their predecessors in terms of protecting their drivers. This includes so-called "work" vehicles like box trucks. Because of the vehicle’s weight and girth, the driver in a box truck is very likely to survive a side or rear-end collision. However, the weakest point on a box truck is the front, simply because there isn’t as much metal between the driver and the crashing vehicle.
Unfortunately, that Achilles heel claimed the life of a North Las Vegas man this weekend. Shortly before 3:45am Sunday morning, the 43-year old was sitting behind the wheel of a 1999 Mitsubishi Faso box truck in a left turn lane at the intersection of eastbound Flamingo Road and Koval Lane (near the Westin Casuarina hotel). The man was waiting to turn north on Koval when a westbound 2009 GMC Yukon Denali slammed head-on into the box truck.
The North Las Vegas man was pronounced dead at the scene, and three passengers in the sport utility vehicle were transported to University Medical Center with moderate to serious injuries. Thus far, no citations have been issued in connection with the auto accident. But it appears that the 20-year old driver of the SUV will be held solely responsible for the injuries and deaths that resulted.
It’s unclear whether the box truck driver was working for a company at the time of the crash (the box truck did not have any writing on the side of the cargo area). If he was, then much of his monetary reimbursement would fall under the purview of worker’s compensation law. But if he owned the truck and was not working, or was operating it for personal use, his family can still receive damages from a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the SUV driver. In addition, the three Denali passengers could also get reimbursed for medical costs if they were to file personal injury lawsuits against the 20-year old man.