Many of us have mixed feelings about surveillance cameras that seem to be everywhere. Some view these cameras as an invasion of privacy, some call it government spying, and some have just come to ignore them. No matter what we think, sometimes surveillance cameras serve a positive function. One of the times a camera served a positive function was in the case of a fatal crash involving a dump truck that overturned and crushed a passenger vehicle in the oncoming lane of traffic.
In 2015, Gwendolyn Gray stopped at a gas station at Partlow Road, Anderson Mill Road, and Ladysmith Road in Caroline County. Across from the adjacent supermarket, the road curves sharply. The speed limit on this road is 45 mph. However, caution signs advise that the maximum safe speed in the curve is 25 mph. As Ms. Gray left the gas station and turned onto the road, a dump truck was approaching from the opposite direction.
As the dump truck came through the curve, its wheels on the passenger side lost contact with the pavement. The truck then tipped over into the oncoming land and landed on Ms. Gray’s vehicle. That vehicle was crushed by the dump truck.
The collision was caught on video by the surveillance cameras at the supermarket.
According to court records, Ms. Gray was unmarried and had no children. She was a few months from her scheduled retirement date. She lived with and cared for her elderly parents. While awaiting the outcome of the case, both of the parents experienced progressing of their illnesses. The mother died and the father was moved to a local facility for care.
Four months later, after preliminary investigations of the collision, suit was filed against the driver of the dump truck, his employer, and the excavating company that had filled the dumpster being hauled in the dump truck when the collision occurred.
Nearly one year later, mediation was attempted, but failed. Discovery continued, including obtaining the truck’s GPS data. Mere days before trial was to begin, the driver and the trucking company doubled their offers. This made it possible to settle the case out of court. The settlement was $1,103,679.93.
In this case, the surveillance cameras and the GPS data confirmed and showed the unfolding of these events and the occurrence of the collision. The facts in this fatal crash involving a dump truck caught by surveillance camera were confirmed by the video from the cameras. In this case, the much-hated cameras served an important function.