As an update on the truck/bus collision Wednesday in Pennsylvania, we are
learning more about the truck company whose truck crossed the median and
struck the bus. Subsequent reports about the accident indicated that the
driver of the tractor trailer which crossed the median was Franklin Wyatt
of Macomb, Oklahoma. He was driving for Greatwide Dedicated Transport,
which is an operating division of Cardinal Logistics Holdings, LLC from
North Carolina. We checked one of our resources for handling commercial
truck cases and found that “Greatwide Dedicated Transport”
corporate structure is becoming increasingly common in the interstate
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration lists “Greatwide
Dedicated Transport” I, II and III – each with different Department
of Transportation “DoT” numbers – all registered at
the same address in North Carolina. We frequently see many layers of corporations
in an attempt to insulate the assets of the corporation in liability cases.
In other words, even though it may be clear that the driver crossed the
median, the corporate defense lawyers for the corporation and for the
driver will work hard to say that the parent corporation had no role in
monitoring the safety of its drivers. That is expressly contrary to the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. In fact, there is very strong
case law in Pennsylvania which will hold the parent corporations fully
accountable all the way up the corporate ladder.
Responsible for what, you may ask? The obligation to insure compliance
with basic hours of service rules is a corporate responsibility; checking
drivers’ experience and qualifications before employment; making
sure a driver is healthy enough to be behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound
vehicle, etc. are just a few of the important safety checks that were
required before Mr. Wyatt drove for Greatwide. Let’s hope they did
everything they were supposed to have done.
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