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Fatal Truck Accident on I-80 Leads to an Arrest. What More Can be Done?

A man was pronounced dead on the scene of a car accident on Interstate 80 in Dennison Twp. on December 22.

The man, now identified as Paul P. Hillman of Philadelphia, was involved in the hit and run accident with a cattle truck driver, Thomas K. Wilt, of Lexington, North Carolina. Wilt fled from the scene and was later apprehended at a slaughterhouse in Montgomery County according to the Pennsylvania State Police.

Wilt faces charges of accidents involving death or personal injury, accidents involving damage to attended vehicles, careless driving, reckless driving, failure to stop and render aid and failure to notify police.

The Citizens’ Voice reports that Magisterial District Judge James Haggerty, Kingston, set bail at $150,000 on Monday morning and unable to post it, Wilt was taken to jail.

According to the arrest papers:

“Troopers received several phone calls for the crash on I-80 east at mile marker 265.1 around 4:50 p.m. and arrived to find Paul P. Hillman (no age or hometown available) deceased in the driver’s seat of a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado.

The state police Crash Reconstruction Unit arrived on scene along with the Forensic Services Unit who processed the scene for evidence and reconstructed the crash while the county coroner pronounced Hillman dead at 8:30 p.m.

One witness told troopers he was east on the two lane highway when he saw a tractor trailer hauling cattle and “taunting” a pickup truck. He said the pickup was traveling in the left lane next to the tractor trailer and the tractor trailer driver swerved into the left lane, forcing the truck to leave the road and drive onto the dirt berm.

The pickup driver got back on the road and passed the tractor trailer and was in front of the commercial vehicle, traveling at a normal pace for about two minutes before the tractor trailer began speeding up and hit the rear of the truck, causing the truck to crash.

Three vehicles stopped for the victim so the witness and his passenger continued to follow the tractor trailer to get the plate number. They also saw the word “Wilt” was written on the tractor trailer driver’s side door in cursive and noted the offending vehicle was southbound on the Turnpike when they called 911.

Troopers issued an alert for the tractor trailer and then received information from a slaughterhouse in Montgomery County that Wilt arrived there with what appeared to be recent damage to the front of his tractor. The tractor trailer also had a similar registration plate number and writing as the witnesses described. Local police took Wilt into custody.”

What Are Your Legal Options Following a Fatal Truck Accident?

With the New Year’s holiday approaching and many families traveling back home following the Christmas season, holiday travel will be at its most congested. With added vehicles on the roadways, accidents may occur. If you have lost a loved one due to a truck accident, there are legal options for you. You may be able to press charges against the truck driver or the trucking company depending on the accident. In addition, you can also file a civil lawsuit against both the truck driver and the trucking company for both economic and non-economic damages, plus funeral expenses for your loved one.

At Fellerman & Ciarimboli, we understand how difficult this time can be. But the longer you wait, the harder it will be to get the compensation you deserve. Now is the time to act. Contact the fatal truck accident lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli to find out what options may exist for your family.

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With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.

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