Did Sleep Apnea Cause the Crash that Killed David Fraker in West Virginia?
Last year our Virginia trucking accident lawyers reported on the dangers of sleep apnea on our roads.
The seriousness of this health condition for drivers was tragically illustrated in an accident in Boone County, West Virginia (WV), in which a young man appears to have fallen asleep and crashed his car, killing himself.
WSAZ3 reported the recent death of David Fraker, who will never get to see his daughter born. His family believes sleep apnea was to blame for the crash. He was driving along Route 119 when he rear-ended a tractor trailer. He was killed when his car struck the rear of an 18-wheeler along Route 119, near Danville. Mr. Fraker was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
“Fraker’s family says he had a severe case of sleep apnea and has had several accidents from falling asleep at the wheel,” reported WSAZ3.
“Early indicators lead to that he was definitely taking prescription medication at the time of the crash,” Boone County Chief Deputy Chad Barker told the station.
Apparently the father-to-be would often become sleepy behind the wheel and have to pull over.
As a trucking accident attorney who represents clients hurt in truck wrecks in Virginia and West Virginia, I am particularly concerned about the large number of truckers who suffer from sleep apnea. When a driver loses control of a big rig, the consequences can be particularly horrifying for other road users.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, sleep apnea is a medical condition in which a sleeper’s breathing stops multiple times throughout the night.
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. It involves a blockage in the airway which is often caused by soft tissue in the back of a sleeper’s throat. There is sometimes a link between obesity and sleep apnea.
There’s another less common kind called Central Sleep Apnea, a rarer form that occurs when part of the brain that dictates breathing fails to send the exact signals to the breathing muscles.
If you believe you suffer from sleep apnea you should consult a doctor who will send you for a sleep evaluation. People with sleep apnea are often fitted with special breathing apparatus.
If you have been hurt in an accident involving a drowsy driver, you should consider consulting the Cooper Hurley injury lawyers for a free consultation.
The Norfolk, VA based personal injury law firm, Cooper Hurley with client meeting locations in Virginia Beach and Hampton, handles automobile, truck, and motorcycle injuries as well as wrongful death, railroad injury cases and medical malpractice. Attorneys John Cooper and Jim Hurley have more than 40 years of combined experience in specializing in auto injury as well as other accident claims. Cooper Hurley represents people hurt in accidents in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and throughout VA. Our motto is: “Your Injury. Our fight.” If you need help or advice about a serious injury, please call us at (757) 455 -0077 or contact us through this website.