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Lawsuits & Litigation

Fatal Traffic Accident Results in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

— September 7, 2021

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Charles C. Walker, 58, and Sewing Collection Inc., a garment and packaging supply manufacturer after Dillon W. Walton, 27, was killed in a traffic accident. The suit was filed by the administrator of Walton’s estate in Westmoreland County Court. It is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Gavel; image courtesy of bloomsberries, via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0, no changes made.

According to the suit, Walton was driving along Interstate 70 on October 21, 2020, when Walker’s tractor-trailer “slammed into the rear of his car.” The suit notes that “Walton was stopped in traffic on the Matthew Smelser Memorial Bridge in South Huntingdon when the accident occurred,” and further states:

“Despite having a clear and unobstructed view of the stopped vehicles in front of him, defendant Charles Walker continued to drive the tractor-trailer directly at the stopped vehicles at a speed of 59-65 miles per hour without slowing down.”

Michael Ferguson is the attorney representing the estate. When commenting on the incident, he said the “speed limit along the eastbound stretch is 55 miles per hour.” He added that the 2016 International Harvester tractor-trailer Walker was driving weighed 54,000 pounds and “partially struck another car that attempted to avoid a collision, then slammed into the back of the Chevrolet Cavalier operated by decedent Dillon Walton with tremendous force.”

Reports from the state police state that, prior to the accident, “was stalled along the stretch due to a prior accident.” Tragically, the “impact of the collision crushed Walton’s vehicle into another tractor-trailer that was stopped in front of him.” As a result, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Ferguson added:

“Dillon was an incredible young man and, needless to say, his family is devastated by this. His death is tragic and the manner in which the accident occurred is simply inexcusable.”

According to the suit, the accident happened because Walker “failed to keep a proper lookout for vehicles in the roadway in front of him.” Additionally, the suit claims Walker “operated said vehicle in such a reckless, careless, negligent and wanton manner so as to cause it to collide with the rear of decedent’s vehicle while traveling at a speed of 62 miles per hour.”

Why was Walker’s employer listed as a defendant, though? For starters, the suit argues the company “failed to employ driver condition monitor systems which would have allowed them to monitor the driving of defendant Charles Walker so as to ensure that his operation of the tractor-trailer was being done safely and within appropriate legal and safety standards so as not to endanger other motorists including Walton.”

Back on June 21, Walker was ordered to stand trial on various charges that were filed by state police regarding the accident. Some of those charges include “homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle, reckless endangerment, following too closely, and driving at an unsafe speed.”


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