Blair County, Pennsylvania
A truck driver standing beside his vehicle was struck and killed by a tractor trailer on Friday afternoon. The fatal crash happened on the southbound side of Interstate 99 in Blair County, Pennsylvania.
Law enforcement officials say the chain of events leading to the tragedy began after Wayne B. Walden Jr.’s truck broke down. Walden Jr., 44, had pulled his box truck a few feet inside the fog line, on a berm along I-99. His hazard lights were on and his hood was up.
According to the WJACTV 6, Walden Jr. was standing on the berm when a truck driven by 39-year-old Dean H. Rowland Jr. of Homer City approached. Rowland Jr.’s truck ended up swerving to the right, sideswiping the disabled truck. Walden Jr. was “in the middle of the sideswipe,” according to law enforcement officials. Emergency responders pronounced him dead at the scene of blunt force trauma.
Rowland Jr. stopped after the accident and was cooperating with authorities. The truck driver is being tested for drugs and alcohol, though officials say there was no indication that Rowland Jr. was under the influence.
At this time, authorities are uncertain what caused Rowland Jr. to swerve. An investigation is ongoing.
Wayne B. Walden Jr. is survived by his two daughters. According to his twin sister Tanya Trevaskis, Walden Jr. was the “only security those girls had.” She added that in the aftermath of such a tragedy, his daughters haven’t been able to fully comprehend the loss of their father.
Truck drivers are taught defensive driving, specifically to scan the road and look ahead to where their vehicle will be in 15 seconds. During their training, truckers are taught to vigilantly look out for hazards on or near the roadway ahead. By all accounts, it doesn’t appear that Rowland Jr. was driving defensively when his truck sideswiped Walden Jr.’s truck, which officials say was parked legally.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a Pennsylvania truck accident, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced truck accident attorney. Contact the truck accident law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldmantoday for a free case evaluation.