Florida Highway Patrol Says Tractor-Trailer Driven by Former Walton County Commissioner In Deadly Motor Vehicle Crash Was Overloaded

According to results from the inspection conducted by the Florida Department of Transportation following the deadly Burhap, Walton County truck accident that left one man dead and a young girl seriously injured, the tractor-trailer driven by former Walton County Commissioner Herman Walker was overloaded with cattle feed by about 1,000 pounds( over the 80,000 limit). DOT inspectors also found that two breaks on the truck were out of adjustment and that the truck had not undergone its latest inspections.

The deadly crash, which happened on July 11, killed Eric S. Burhap, injured his wife Shannon and two children, and left family friend Katie Johnson, 9, with catastrophic injuries. The tractor-trailer collision occurred on State Road 2A north of DeFuniak Springs when Walker lost control of his truck on a curve and struck Burhap’s SUV. While blood alcohol test results show no proof Walker had alcohol in his system at the time of the crash, toxicology results are still pending.

In August, Shannon and Johnson filed a lawsuit against Walker for wrongful death and personal injury caused by the deadly Florida truck crash. The lawsuit also notes that Walker and his wife filed and finalized their divorce soon after the collision and that over $7 million in assets were transferred to his wife as part of their settlement. The lawsuit contends that Walker filed for divorce to avoid paying the money as compensation to the injury victims. Johnson and Shannon are seeking unspecified damages.

There are specific federal and state regulations that large truck operators must abide by when driving on US and state roads. For example, truckers must make sure that their vehicles are properly maintained, that all cargo is properly secured, and that the load they are carrying does not exceed weight requirements. Failure to meet these regulations and others can lead to deadly truck accidents and be grounds for a truck collision lawsuit.

FHP: Truck in fatal Buharp crash was overloaded, NWFDailyNews.com, September 3, 2008
Piecing together Buharp crash; lawsuits ahead?, NWFDailyNews.com, September 3, 2008
Walker sued in fatal Buharp crash (with LAWSUIT), WSOWAL.com, August 20, 2008

Related Web Resource:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration