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Trucker Seen Disposing Driving Logs – Settlement Made

Dougherty & Holloway Dec. 15, 2014

A trucker, Edgar Leal, was hauling a flatbed trailer pulled by a 1995 Peterbilt truck owned by Pablos Trucking loaded with steel shipped by Tulare, California-based Primary Steel when he rear-ended Marcel Darby, 43, of Pomona, California, eastbound on Interstate 10 near Quartzsite, Arizona, in his 2001 Chrysler 300. Darby’s vehicle left the roadway and crashed into the median fence, according to the petition.Darby was killed from crushing injuries sustained in the accident, said the family’s attorney, Daniel Thomas of Humphrey, Farrington & McClain in Independence.

What caused Leal to find himself in a settlement dispute is that a witness reported seeing him dispose of the log books which tracked his hours on the road, creating suspicion. An investigation revealed that Leal was actually eight hours over the allowed driving time when the accident occurred. Leal was charged and convicted of obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence, according to Thomas.

Attorneys for the defense did not respond to a request for comment.

The settlement for the plaintiff was reached at $1.2 million in California for Darby’s family. Thomas said not enough of the car remained to tell if it malfunctioned. “It was crushed so hard the license plate of the [truck] was imprinted on the bumper.”