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Trucker Settles With Families in Fatal Crash

A trucker was the cause of a fatal accident. Now the wrongful death trial for that trucker has been cancelled.

Instead of facing the families of the three victims, the truck driver, Seth Allan Strehler and his trucking company decided to settle. Strehler was acquitted of a charge of careless driving.

After the acquittal, the families of the victims sued Strehler’s trucking company and Hagen Trucking Inc. for wrongful death. The combined trial was scheduled to take place February 4th.

When the accident occurred, Strehler, 35, was driving northbound on U.S. 61 in a semi in August when he rear-ended a Dodge Caravan with three women inside. Carolyn Anderson, 59, died at the scene. Marilyn Wanner, 72, died a number of weeks later. Rosie Bongiovanni, 88, was declared dead at Regions Hospital after being airlifted. Strehler received no injuries.

The Hugo prosecutor moved forward with charges against Strehler after the Washington County attorney’s office said they did not want to press charges.

In the criminal complaint, Strehler was quoted as saying the Caravan suddenly slowed down and did not signal. He said the van stopped before he had a chance to stop the truck to avoid the collision.

Now, Strehler and the families have reached a final settlement in the civil case. Although Strehler could have gone to court and possibly not been found liable for the deaths of the three women, a full and final settlement can avoid the opposite from occurring.

Minnesota law allows a windfall settlement in cases where medical bills are partially covered by Medicare, even if the family doesn’t have to pay anything out of pocket for treatment. This was a situation that Strehler faced in at least one of the cases.

Strehler’s attorney said that Strehler is now able to move forward from the ordeal. The accident terms of the settlement have not yet been made available.

If you are involved in a serious collision involving a commercial vehicle, it's important to have accurate legal advice. Contact a Minneapolis truck accident lawyer from TSR Injury Law for a free, no obligation consultation. There are no upfront fees if we agree to take on your case.

TSR Injury Law - Ph: (612) TSR-TIME.

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