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