California family sues trucker for unsafe driving in desert sand storm

Robert Foss, a truck accident attorney, filed a lawsuit today on behalf of the surviving Ramirez brothers against those involved in the Nov. 9, 2008 fatal multi-vehicle collision on I-40 near Ludlow, California which resulted in the tragic death of their father, Jose Ramirez, 66 and their younger brother, Robert Ramirez, 15.
Jose and Robert were killed on Interstate 40, in San Bernardino County, when a Midway Transportation, Inc. tractor-trailer rear-ended their car at a high rate of speed during a dust storm and pushed it completely into and under a J.B. Hunt tractor trailer, which was stopped on the highway. Visibility at the time was reduced to between 0 and 50 feet.

The Ramirez’s are suing the four truck companies and the truck drivers involved in the fatal pile up as well as the State of California, the CHP and Caltrans, for negligent and unlawful conduct. Allegations include reckless driving by the Midway truck driver, who was traveling in excess of 50 mph in an area where strong winds, dust storms and reduced visibility forecasts were repeatedly broadcast.
“The Ramirez family wants justice. My clients want to see that highways are made safe during dust storms as a result of this lawsuit. They want truck drivers to remove themselves from roadways during hazardous conditions such as dust storms, as required by federal law,” said the family’s attorney, Robert Foss, of Los Angeles.
The complaint also claims that the other big rigs, which weigh up to 40 tons and can cause catastrophic injury and death when involved in accidents with passenger vehicles, had a responsibility to be off the road during such extreme conditions.

Additionally, the lawsuit asserts that the CHP and Caltrans did not warn motorists of the impending dangerous conditions when they had the duty and the opportunity to do so.