Two days after Christmas, a truck accident in Mount Laurel claimed the lives of three members of a family and their dog. The incident happened on the southbound lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike when a tractor-trailer rear-ended the family’s car.

According to New Jersey State Police, the 51-year-year-old driver, his 49-year-old wife and their 12-year-old son were pronounced dead at the scene following the truck accident.

The couple’s 18-year-old daughter survived with non-life-threatening injuries. Officials treated her at Cooper University Hospital in Camden and released her the same day.

The family is from Georgia, and was returning home after visiting relatives in Connecticut, according to state police. Originally from Jamaica, the husband owned and operated a Caribbean food establishment in an Atlanta suburb.

According to police, the driver of the truck is a 51-year-old Maryland man. He was not injured in the accident.

The collision caused a second tractor-trailer to veer off the highway in a domino effect that caused that tractor-trailer to change directions. Also, a Ford SUV was involved in the second crash. The driver of the second tractor-trailer and the driver of the Ford SUV did not suffer any injuries.

Police continue to investigate the accident, and charges may be pending for this case.

Truck drivers often walk away uninjured or with minor injuries, whereas drivers of smaller vehicles are more likely to sustain serious injuries or be killed because of the weight and size of the truck involved.

Victims of incidents similar to this one may be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver. The compensation that can be awarded in such a lawsuit can cover medical and funeral expenses, as well as emotional pain and suffering, to name only a few possible damages. Victims of truck accidents and their family members would do well to consult with a legal advocate with experience in personal injury and wrongful death claims.

Source:, “State police ID family members killed in turnpike accident,” David Levinsky, Dec. 30, 2012