In June 2016, Sarah Allison was 30 and her husband, Matthew Allison, was 27.
They were driving along highway 20 near Burns, Oregon, heading home from Crater Lake when their lives came to a crashing halt.
Attorney Thomas D’Amore said, “What Miss Allison saw was two huge vehicles taking up the entire road.”
Attorneys for the family say a road rage incident spanned more than 90 miles along the winding two-lane highway among four commercial truck drivers.
According to court documents, these professional truck drivers were racing, speeding and brake checking each other, setting the stage for the feud.
Court documents reveal they were driving so aggressively and cutting each other off that when one truck driver attempted to pass another commercial RV ahead of him, he sped up so the truck couldn’t get by. And around the blind turn was Sara and Matthew with a truck and an RV coming toward them in both lanes. The truck hit them head-on, killing Sara and severely injuring Matthew.
D’Amore stated, “Road rage is getting worse in our country and on our highways and it’s getting worse by professional drivers.”
One trucking company, Smoot Enterprises, admitted wrongdoing in a settlement and fired all three of their drivers. One of them serving six years in jail.
But the other trucking company, Horizon Transport, has denied any wrongdoing and their driver is still on the road today, but working for Swift Transport, one of the largest trucking companies in America.
But after three years, a jury in Pendleton recently found Horizon Transport liable for nearly $27 million in damages.
“For these guys to you know play power battles on the road and do engage in multiple passes back and forth,” Attorney Steven Brady said. “It’s outrageous but unfortunately it goes on, and this jury wanted to put that to a stop and they wanted to send a clear message that that’s not okay. And they didn’t want anybody else to die because of that behavior.”
The attorneys hope is that this case will set an example for trucking companies to take a hard look at who they’re letting behind the wheel.
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