Rolla, MO — A truck driver was killed on I-44 near Rolla on Wednesday, December 18, after he may have suffered a medical condition. Police identified the driver as Eric Vanpelt, 49, and said that the accident happened just east of Rolla near Kingshighway at about 3:00 p.m.

Vanpelt was driving his 18-wheeler truck, owned by Lowe’s, west along I-44 when he lost control and swerved to the right side of the interstate. The truck came to a rest off the roadway and Vanpelt was declared dead at the scene after a passing driver stopped to help.

Police said they’re not sure what happened in the truck, but believe that Vanpelt may have had a medical issue or condition.

Scene of the Accident


It would be easy to look at a situation like this and assume that it was unpreventable. After all, who could predict a medical episode? As it turns out, trucking companies sometimes can. A lot of trucking companies today are having their drivers screened and tested regularly to address physical health concerns like sleep apnea and heart conditions. 1) This helps address any current concerns and 2) works as preventative care for potential issues down the road. Unfortunately, this isn’t a industry-wide practice and there are a lot of “bad apple” companies that simply don’t take the time to offer their drivers physicals. I’m not saying that’s what happened in this accident, but I do want people to be aware of the health-related issues in the trucking industry today. In my opinion, trucking companies that care about their drivers will invest in their health.


— Grossman Law Offices

Recent Comments to the Blog

Jason is back to work and is now playing Sled Hockey and wheelchair rugby!! Jason is the strongest and most amazing man! He may nly have 1/2 a leg, but that is ALL he is lacking!! Thanks to prayer and GOD and awsome first responders and Baylor doctors. Jason's wife, Sheila
— Sheila
I'm a former employee. I had brought up this exact scenario and suggested a maintenance procedure that would eliminate the possibility of this type injury. Obviously my warning went unheeded.
— Tophat
I was actually a couple cars back from this wreck, one of the first on the scene, and helped administer CPR on the victims. The truck driver was going way too fast, but it was actually his trailer that swung around and hit the suv, the semi-truck ended in the median.
— Leif Burton
I appreciate how you've commentated on this tragedy--informative, with questions, but not hurtful. I live within 30 mins of this crash site, and I am appalled at the entire situation :(. I can't even begin to understand what could have happened to make this come to fruition, but I will be keeping up with it so I can learn what investigations bring to light about how something awful like this could happen. Rest in peace, Thomas, Carolyn and Carolyn...
— Summer
I am Anthony Siffords daughter. im 13 and i miss my dad i just wanted everyone to know that he is in a better place now and i would to thank everyone for the support. i miss my dad but it was amazing to see how many people had been toughed by my dad god bless thanks for everything...
— Hannah Sifford
I am Rodney Palmer's sister-inlaw. I am amazed and grateful for all the heartfelt wishes and support for our family... It is difficult indeed to put our thoughts into words, but we very much appreciate your kind and helpful words at a time when these things mean so much. Losing someone as special as Rodney has been tough, but knowing the he has touched so many people's lives keeps my sister's strengthens our family.
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A lot of people say smack about lawyers, but I want to say that I'm glad there is a way that people who are wronged by corporate neglect can get justice and force change. We are living in a world where corporations and govt care less than ever about common people, and I support your work. I hope I will never need your services.
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My friend Michael was the one who got hit by this train. This is the ONLY article I can find on it!! How is that possible? It happened almost 5 days ago! Thank you for actually caring about us "no name" people. I hope when more information comes in you will post it as soon as you can. Thank you again!! God bless you
— Leslie
Tony was the step Grant father and it's been hard for the whole family but we know he is in a better place now. It's nice to know that people are rasing awareness with my grandfathers story. Thanks, family and friends of Tony Wray.
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Thank you for posting these accident articles on your site. At the company that I work for, e deal with monitoring construction activity and work around trenches and all sorts of construction equipment/vehicles. I sometimes wonder if construction companies have enough safety training to inform employees of how to protect themselves while on the job.
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I'd like to thank you for giving my cousin's death some type of recognition and letting our family know he is not a lost cause. Thank you <3
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