A tragic wreck has claimed the life of Christopher Softley (53) of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. According to an article by Tom Smith of the TimesDaily, the accident occurred about 7:30 am last Thursday morning on Singing River Bridge. Mr. Softley was driving a John Deere tractor and pulling a bush hog when his tractor was clipped from behind by a Mack dump truck that was loaded with gravel. The collision between the dump truck and tractor caused the tractor to flip over and onto its side, trapping Mr. Softley underneath. The collision also caused the dump truck to flip onto its side causing its load to be spilled onto the highway. The driver of the dump truck, Robert L. Cowan, of Russellville, was treated and released from the hospital with minor injuries.
At this time, the police have not released the cause of this accident. From the initial facts, it appears, the driver of the dump truck failed to keep a proper lookout. The Rules of the Road, Title 32 of the Alabama Code, require each driver to a keep a proper lookout and maintain a safe distance between the vehicle in front of them to allow sufficient distance within which to stop their vehicle. Obviously, the distance required to stop a fully loaded gravel truck would be much greater than a normal passenger vehicle. An experienced Alabama truck accident attorney would want to inspect the driver and maintenance logs for this driver and vehicle. Many rear end accidents of this type are caused by faulty or defective brakes. Here the subject dump truck should be thoroughly inspected to determine if any mechanical errors contributed to the cause of this accident.
For information on driving tractors on highways, please see the article, Safe Tractor Operation: Driving on Highways.