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Maine Commercial Driver Duty and Tess Meisel

No parent should lose a child the way the Meisels did. Tess Meisel should be alive.

In Farmington on August 17tha semi-trailer full of sawdust took a turn, and the trailer collided with the rear of a minivan stopped at a light. Twelve year old minivan passenger, Tess Meisel, was killed from the impact. The trailer overturned, spilling its load of sawdust.

As a Connecticut native, a father, and a Maine trucking accident lawyer, the tragic news of Tess Meisel’s death caught my attention. It brought home the fact that Maine commercial truck drivers need to protect motorists from injury and death caused by their trailers transporting dry bulk loads, such as the sawdust load that killed Tess Meisel.

Like most states, Maine’s Commercial Driver License Manual states the obvious:
Dry bulk transport requires special care because dry bulk has a high center of gravity and the load can shift. Truck drivers are told to be “extremely cautious (slow and careful) going around curves and making sharp turns. Maine Commercial Driver License Manual, 3.4-Cargo Needing Special Attention, 3.4.1-Dry Bulk.

DOT officials, police, first responders and Maine attorneys with experience representing trucking accident victims know that accidents like the one that killed Tess Meisel don’t just happen. Choices have consequences, including choices made by trucking companies and drivers. The sooner we face up to that fact, the fewer Tess Meisel stories there will be.

Don Briggs, Maine Certified Civil Trial Attorney
Past President, Maine Trial Lawyers Association

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