Darlene Allen Tioga County: Darlene Allen and Nathan G. Slater of Sayre, Pennsylvania Injured, Zachary Allen, Trinity Allen Killed In Tioga County Semi-Truck Accident Involving Deer On Route 17 —> Support The Family Through Go Fund Me
TIOGA CONTY, NEW YORK (November 11, 2019) – A 38-year-old woman identified as Darlene Allen was seriously injured in a semi-truck accident that tragically killed her two children Zachary Allen and Trinity Allen on Route 17.
New York state police are saying that the accident took place on Sunday night. Darlene Allen, Nathan Slater, Zachary Allen and Trinity Allen were all heading down the highway when their car hit a deer in the roadway.
The force of their impact left their car disabled and it was then rear-ended by a semi-truck. Darlene Allen, Nathan Slater, Zachary Allen and Trinity Allen all sustained serious injuries and were taken to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre.
Despite life-saving measures Zachary Allen and Trinity Allen died due to their injuries. You can help support Darlene Allen and her family as they are going through such a difficult time by donating to their Go Fund Me page.
According to the Go Fund Me page, “On Sunday, October 20, 2019, Robert and Kathy were awaiting the return of their two youngest children, Zach (7) and Trinity (11) as their other Mom, Darlene brought them back from spending the day with her. On the way home, a deer jumped in front of their car. While stopped, a tractor trailer hit their car.”
Liability In Car Accidents Involving Deer
Traffic collisions with deer may seem like a freak occurrence, but they are actually extremely common. According to the Culture of Safety, “There are approximately 1.5 million deer-related car accidents annually. The majority of these accidents occur between October and December, but can happen year round.” There are a number of measures that drivers can take to mitigate or avoid collisions with deer.
- It’s dangerous to swerve out of the way of deer. Even though this may seem counter-intuitive, it’s safest to slow down and keep going straight.
- Use your high-beams when possible to help spot deer.
- Pay attention to deer crossing signs and slow down appropriately.
There are a number of sources of potential liability for accidents involving deer. First, truck drivers have a legal responsibility to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner and according to the prevailing conditions of the road. This includes maintaining a safe follow distance with the lead vehicle. According to the FMCSA, “If you are driving below 40 mph, you should leave at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length. For a typical tractor-trailer, this results in 4 seconds between you and the leading vehicle. For speeds over 40 mph, you should leave one additional second.”
There is no reason that a truck driver should ever rear-end a car on the freeway. These types of accidents tend to happen when truck drivers are distracted, intoxicate, fatigued or following the lead vehicle too closely. Even if a car stops abruptly on the freeway truck drivers are supposed to leave enough room to safely stop in time. If a truck driver rear-ends a stalled or disabled vehicle on the freeway the company that they work may have civil liability. Generally speaking, companies are liable for the negligent conduct of their employees – insofar as those employees are working within the course and scope of their job duties.
Depending on the circumstances of a crash a city in New York could face civil liability for failing to take adequate measures to prevent deer from walking onto the highway. This was the decision of an appeals court in Jerry Booth v. Arizona. According to the Arizona Daily Sun, “In a unanimous ruling the Arizona Court of Appeals has said the state can be sued because it failed to prevent these wild animals from wandering onto portions of an interstate highway. The judges said that, depending on the facts of a situation, there is no reason to grant the state absolute immunity.” There are a number of measures that city and state agencies can take to prevent accidents with deer including:
- Installing and maintaining well-designed fences
- Installing passive and active deer warning signs
- Creating appropriate overpasses and underpasses
The family of any victim that died in an accident with a deer or truck may have legal recourse through a wrongful death claim. Damages can help cover lost wages, funeral expenses, medical bills and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, truck companies and cities will often fight vigorously to deny liability after a car accident. A truck accident attorney can examine all of the facts of your case and let you know what your rights are.
Investigating A New York Truck Accident
We at Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson extend our deepest condolences to the family of Zachary Allen and Trinity Allen. It is our sincere hope that Darlene Allen is able to make a full recovery. We strongly encourage everyone to donate to the Go Fund Me set up for the family involved in this horrific accident. As personal injury attorneys and consumer safety advocates it is our sincere hope that measures are taken to prevent additional accidents like this in the future. Any person that may have witnessed what happened should reach out to the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office as they continue their investigation at (607) 687-1010.