An 18-wheeler driver was recently charged with manslaughter after police say he caused a fatal accident. He was apparently not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol at the time of the wreck. Still, he could face potentially serious consequences — including fines and jail time — if convicted on this criminal charge.

North Dakota police say that the wreck occurred shortly after 6:30 p.m., when a 57-year-old pickup truck driver was driving on Interstate 29. He was traveling slower than a nearby 18-wheeler when the 53-year-old driver of the big rig apparently rear-ended his pickup. The driver who supposedly caused the accident was not injured, nor were any of the cattle that he was hauling at the time. The pickup truck driver was tossed from his vehicle and pronounced dead while still at the site of the accident.

The 18-wheeler driver initially told police that a piece of debris had flown out of the victim’s pickup just before the collision and obscured his view. An eyewitness told police that the pickup had been highly visible, but it is not clear where the witness was located at the time of the wreck or if he had been watching the two vehicles before they collided. However, an investigation concluded that the 18-wheeler driver had not been properly rested while behind the wheel.

criminal charge for manslaughter can potentially result in a defendant serving up to 10 years behind bars. When North Dakota defendants are faced with these types of criminal allegations, timely action can be essential. This includes taking careful steps toward crafting a solid criminal defense foundation, such as reviewing charges alongside their respective counsels and considering how collected evidence might apply to their situation.