Truck Driver Exonerated from Criminal Charges in Aggravated Assault by Motor Vehicle Case
Obtained a defense verdict in an aggravated assault by motor vehicle trial held in the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County. The truck driver client was involved in a serious accident with a passenger vehicle. He was approaching a red traffic signal when he realized that he could not apply the brakes in time to stop the tractor-trailer without jack-knifing. He activated his air horn in an attempt to notify other drivers at the intersection that he was unable to stop. There were two vehicles on either side of the intersection. One of those drivers was a 19-year-old-female who proceeded into the intersection when her light turned green. Her vehicle was t-boned by our client's tractor-trailer as soon as she pulled into the intersection. She was seriously injured. Our client was charged with aggravated assault by motor vehicle (a felony) and recklessly endangering another person (a misdemeanor), along with traffic citations, such as careless driving and reckless driving. The District Attorney's office refused to engage in any negotiations and made no plea offers. The defense cross-examined the Commonwealth's fact witnesses and experts in an attempt to establish that the client's conduct did not constitute criminal behavior. The defense also argued in opening and closing statements that, while the evidence may have established that the accident was our client's fault, in order to convict a defendant of these charges, the Commonwealth must prove gross negligence or recklessness, and that they clearly failed to do so beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury deliberated for 20 minutes and rendered a verdict of not guilty on all counts.