NC Advocates Press Release

In 2015, 4,067 people were killed in large truck crashes in the United States

NC Advocates Press Release

THREE MONTHS AFTER THE DEVASTATING TRUCK CRASH THAT TOOK THE LIVES OF HER DAUGHTERS, MARIANNE KARTH JOINS TRUCK SAFETY ADVOCATES TO SEEK TRUCK SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. (Tuesday, August 13, 2013) – Today, Marianne Karth joined North Carolina Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) members Jennifer Tierney (Kernersville, NC), Jackie Novak (Edneyville, NC) and Paul Badger (Davidson, NC) to meet with Senator Burr and focus attention on vital truck safety issues.

Three months ago, Marianne, her son Caleb and daughters AnnaLeah and Mary set out on a trip from their home in Rocky Mount, NC for Texas to celebrate four graduations and a wedding. Marianne was looking forward to delivering the wedding dress she had sewn to the bride, her daughter Rebekah, and the whole Karth family was excited to reunite with friends and family. Their plans changed in an instant when a semi-truck driver slammed into the rear of Marianne’s car as she waited in slowed traffic. The Karth’s car spun around and became wedged underneath another truck. Marianne and her son Caleb were injured. AnnaLeah was killed instantly, and Mary died a few days later.

“The loss of AnnaLeah and Mary has torn a hole in our family, and I was devastated to learn that we are not alone in our grief. Every year nearly 4,000 people are killed on our nation’s highways in truck crashes,” said Marianne Karth. “I’ve learned that truck crash fatalities and injuries are an epidemic that must be halted. We can’t keep losing kids because we fail to require widely researched and proven safety advances such as stronger, lower underride guards. It pains my heart to think that my daughters may have survived if the trucks involved in the crash had been equipped with better underride guards.”

Jennifer Tierney, North Carolina Volunteer Coordinator for the TSC, board member for Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and a member of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) stated, “This September will mark thirty years since my father was killed in an underride crash. I cannot believe that our country still does not require improved rear underride guards, and we have yet to require side and front underride guards. We know that these guards will save lives, and reduce serious injuries. New and improved underride guard requirements are long overdue. I look forward to meeting with my fellow North Carolinian, our new Secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Secretary Foxx, to discuss how we can work together to save lives.”

Jackie Novak, North Carolina Volunteer Advocate for the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) after losing her son Chuck, and Chuck’s girlfriend Theresa Seaver, in a truck crash in 2010 which claimed the lives of three others and injured several more, added, “When my only child was killed, leaving my grandson without a father, our grief felt endless. And, then it was compounded when we learned that the trucking company’s insurance would not be able to cover the costs of those injured in the crash, let alone provide
for the families of those killed. The requirements for insurance for motor carriers are so tremendously inadequate when compared to the capacity for damages caused by a truck crash. It’s unfathomable why minimum insurance levels have not been increased in over thirty years. I am so grateful for legislation to remedy this imbalance including Rep. Cartwright’s (D-PA) recently introduced, a Safe and Fair Environment on Highways Achieved through Underwriting Levels Act (H.R. 2730), SAFE HAUL. I urge our North Carolina Members of Congress to support SAFE HAUL.”

Paul Badger, whose father Bill Badger was killed nearly nine years ago when a tired trucker fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed into his car, noted, “Truck crash related fatalities increased in 2010 and then once again in 2011, and in spite of this, the push to increase truck size and weight limits continues. It is bad enough that truck crash fatalities are on the rise; truck size and weight increases will only make matters worse. I urge Members of Congress to resist efforts to increase truck sizes and weights, and especially before the Congressionally-mandated two-year truck size and weight study on the impacts to safety, infrastructure, costs and the environment is completed and reviewed.”

The Truck Safety Coalition is a partnership between Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and Parents Against Tired Truckers (P.A.T.T.) dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, providing compassionate support to truck crash survivors and families of truck crash victims, and educating the public, policymakers and media about truck safety issues. More information is available at www.trucksafety.org, and on Marianne Karth’s facebook page in honor of AnnaLeah and Mary at:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=495058843909968&id=464993830249803.