In an incident report recently released by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, it was revealed that the cause of a fatal six-vehicle crash in January was a commercial truck driver named Danny G. Tiner who was actively using the TikTok application at the time of the collision. The accident took place in Chandler during the early morning hours of January 12, when Tiner failed to stop for traffic, resulting in the collision of two passenger vehicles and a second commercial truck. Subsequently, two additional cars were impacted as a chain reaction unfolded.
According to the report, the congestion on Interstate 10, where the crash occurred, was a result of an earlier incident. Tiner, aged 36, admitted that he had received a message on his electronic work tablet and, while acknowledging the message, failed to notice that traffic had come to a halt. Consequently, he was unable to bring his vehicle to a stop in time, leading to the collision.
Initially, investigators suspected that Tiner might have been distracted. To further explore this possibility, Tiner voluntarily surrendered his phone as part of the investigation, which was assisted by the FBI. The subsequent findings revealed that Tiner had indeed been using the TikTok application during the accident. Additionally, it was discovered that his truck was traveling at a speed of 68 mph in a 55 mph zone.
As a result of the investigation, Tiner was taken into custody on Thursday, June 29, 2023, at his residence. He now faces multiple charges, including five counts of manslaughter, four counts of endangerment, and one count of tampering with physical evidence, as stated in the recent report.
The tragedy claimed the lives of five individuals who were occupants of the first two passenger vehicles that were struck by Tiner's truck. The collision caused a fire that quickly spread to the second commercial vehicle involved. Tiner himself sustained minor injuries, as outlined in the initial report.
Currently, Tiner remains in custody with bail set at $300,000, which has yet to be posted. His court appearance is scheduled for July 7, according to court documents obtained.
What to Do After a Semi-Truck Accident Caused by Distracted Driving
When you find yourself involved in a semi-truck accident caused by distracted driving, it is crucial to take immediate action to protect your rights and ensure your well-being. Follow these essential steps to navigate the aftermath of such an incident effectively.
1. Ensure Your Safety and Seek Medical Attention
Your safety and well-being should be the top priority after a semi-truck accident. If you or anyone else involved in the accident has sustained injuries, immediately seek medical attention. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it is important to have a professional evaluation to detect any underlying issues that may not be immediately apparent.
2. Contact the Authorities and Document the Scene
Notify the police or highway patrol about the accident. Provide them with accurate and detailed information about the incident, including the involvement of a semi-truck and suspected distracted driving. While waiting for their arrival, if you are physically able, document the scene by taking photographs or videos. Capture the damage to all vehicles involved, skid marks, traffic signals, and any other relevant details. These records can be valuable evidence later.
3. Gather Information and Exchange Details
Exchange contact and insurance information with the truck driver and any other parties involved in the accident. Ensure you obtain the truck driver's name, contact number, license plate number, insurance details, and the name of their employer. Similarly, collect the same information from other drivers, passengers, and witnesses present at the scene. This information will be crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
4. Preserve Evidence and Maintain a Detailed Record
Preserving evidence is vital for building a strong case. Keep copies of all relevant documents, such as medical reports, police reports, and repair estimates for your vehicle. Maintain a detailed record of your injuries, medical treatments, and any other losses or expenses you incur as a result of the accident. This documentation will support your claims for compensation later on.
5. Consult with an Experienced Attorney
Contacting an experienced attorney who specializes in truck accident cases is highly recommended. They will guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and help you pursue fair compensation for your damages. An attorney will handle communication with insurance companies, negotiate on your behalf, and, if necessary, file a lawsuit to seek appropriate damages.
6. Notify Your Insurance Company
Promptly notify your insurance company about the accident. Provide them with accurate and detailed information regarding the incident. Be cautious when speaking with insurance representatives and avoid admitting fault or making recorded statements without consulting your attorney first.
7. Preserve Social Media and Communication Records
In today's digital age, social media and electronic communication can have a significant impact on your case. Preserve any relevant posts, messages, or photos related to the accident or your injuries. Avoid discussing the accident or your legal proceedings on social media, as these posts can potentially be used against you.
Remember, each case is unique, and seeking personalized legal advice is essential to protect your interests effectively. By following these steps and working with an experienced attorney, you can navigate the aftermath of a semi-truck accident caused by distracted driving with confidence and increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your damages.