Fatal Accident Calls into Question Safety Standards for Rental Trucks

In late November, tragedy struck in a Yale University parking lot. Nancy Barry, 30, was killed when she was struck by a U-Haul truck hauling beer kegs to a tailgate party. Two other women were injured in the crash.

Police are still investigating the accident, and thus far no charges have been filed against the driver of the U-Haul, Yale junior Brendan Ross. Although final results of the investigation are pending, witnesses noted that the vehicle suddenly accelerated before the accident. Many suspect that a vehicle malfunction may be to blame for the crash — some Connecticut truck accident attorneys are speculating that a defective trucking equipment lawsuit may be in the works.

New Haven Truck Accident Spurs Response From U.S. Senator

"Sometimes a tragedy is necessary to focus attention," Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal told the New Haven Register and other news outlets at a press conference on Nov. 28, 2011. Just one week after the devastating truck accident that took Nancy Barry's life, Senator Blumenthal issued a plea to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood asking for assistance in correcting rental truck safety oversights.

Senator Blumenthal's letter pointed out several shortcomings in the Government's approach to large rental trucks. While many such vehicles are similar in size and carrying capacity to semi trucks and other commercial motor vehicles, they are not subject to the same strict federal safety regulations.

The Senator cited reports that showed over half of rental trucks surveyed were overdue for a monthly safety check of brakes, tires and other essential equipment. Some of the vehicles had not been inspected in over a year.

While Senator Blumenthal noted that it is impossible to determine the cause of the Yale truck accident this early in the investigation, he was adamant in his assertion that it called into question the efficacy of current rental truck safety standards. Along with asking for Secretary LaHood's help, Senator Blumenthal pledged his support for legislation that would assure the public that rental trucks are just as safe as their commercial counterparts.

In Wake of Loss, Accidents Can Be Engines for Change

Fatal truck accidents impact thousands of families every year. But, the Barry family's unfortunate loss could lead to better safety standards that save others from a similar fate.

If a truck accident has touched your life, get the compensation you deserve and do your part to ensure truck companies prioritize safety. Call a Connecticut personal injury attorney today.