Local News

Mom pushes for truck safety after losing daughters in wreck

Posted March 24, 2014

— Nearly a year after Marianne Karth lost two of her daughters in a car crash, the Rocky Mount mother is leading an effort to ensure the same doesn't happen to any other family.

Karth was driving on Interstate 20 in Georgia in May when, while stopped for traffic, a truck hauling cars struck her vehicle from behind.

The back of her car ended up wedged underneath the tractor-trailer in front of them. Karth’s 17 and 13-year-old daughters were in the back seat. Both were killed.

“There’s not a day that I don’t long for them,” she said.

The driver of the truck that caused the wreck still faces charges.

Karth started an online petition to request changes that would reduce truck driver fatigue, increase minimum insurance liability limits and improve underride rear guards as well as front and side guards.

Federal regulations capping the average work week for truck drivers at 70 hours – a decrease from 82 hours – went into effect in July. Truck drivers are also required to take a 30 minute break during the first eight hours of their shift and after 70 driving hours in a week, can resume driving if they rest for 34 consecutive hours.

Karth’s ultimate goal is for trucks to be as safe as possible on the road.

“Everyday that it gets put off and something doesn't get done about it, then how many more lives are lost,” she said. “That's why we're doing this. Because we don't want other families to face what we had to go through.”

Karth plans to present the petition to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in May.

Foxx’s office said they are constantly working to improve safety measures and will address the petition once they receive it.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • changedmyname Mar 26, 2014

    Looks like someone didn't bother to read the article. Everything you just said is null because she was stopped and hit from behind.- LastSon1981 Mar 25, 11:51 a.m.

    I can read, but you can’t. My post read “Safe driving tips”.
    More regulations on truckers (most follow the rules and are trying to make a decent living) could mean that you might not get your benefits check on time or the cost of your Happy Meal and dollar coffee could be something you might not be able to afford due to the cost of rising transportation. Lo and Behold if the UPS/FedEx/USPS person couldn’t deliver the latest version of Hooked on Phonics to your door. Hate to see that happen. Truckers make life affordable. There are good drivers and bad drivers in every aspect of the transportation industry; but it is usually the good ones that end up paying.

  • loveyhowell Mar 25, 2014

    How horrible. Unfortunately folks don't have their eyes on the road, too many distractions these days or in a hurry, fatigue, no patience whatsoever. Last June, saw a similar accident in FL on 95, Sorry to read this poor woman lost her children. I do think a lot of folks need to go back to drivers ed. Too many close calls for many since texting and cell phones are now commonplace.

  • Michelle James Mar 25, 2014
    user avatar

    lilgtogirl, you are rude and judgmental. So sorry for the loss of life, but as another has already pointed out. There are a lot more drivers in cars, who do ALOT more dangerous things. It is the individual. Not truck drivers as a whole! My husband has driven over 1,000,000 safe miles as a driver for ungrateful ignorant people such as yourself. Plus if you knew the cost, upkeep, and standards commercial drivers are held to you might change your tune! It COSTS us more than most peoples annual salary to operate. Before you judge, just remember how your groceries, medical supplies, and household goods got to where they needed to be for YOUR consumption. That's right a truck driver! Again so sorry for the loss, but there is more loss of life daily with regular passenger vehicles.

  • Kylie Marie Summerling Mar 25, 2014
    user avatar

    You are going to constantly have trucking accidents. Between the types of people who drive trucks, and the trucking companies only making money with fast deliveries, it is a recipe for disaster.

  • whatelseisnew Mar 25, 2014

    Sorry for your horrendous loss, but this will solve nothing and just add more cost.

  • btneast Mar 25, 2014

    [bIn the UK large trucks have secure devices called tachographs which record exactly the time and speed driven etc.][/b] Here, its called GPS. Most all large trucking firms have them on every truck....their insurers almost demand them. It records speed , time moving ...everything. The insurer is a bigger fear factor than the police for most truckers. No insurance and you are out of business. The independent and small guys don't always have them though. .....but they too are at the mercy of the insurer. You cannot put a driver on the road until your insurer says its ok. They have a tougher threshold than DMV.

  • 68_dodge_polara Mar 25, 2014

    View quoted thread

    That would prevent more loss of life than anything else but it's too much to ask people learn much more than where the gas and break is on an automobile before getting behind the wheel these days.

  • 68_dodge_polara Mar 25, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Of coarse why not more big brother? They should be on every vehicle. Companies could monitor how long there drivers spend in the bathroom.

  • Lisa Marie Fields Mar 25, 2014
    user avatar

    Every accident cannot be avoided. I drive 80 miles of 95 everyday, I do see big truck drivers that scare me, but I see more people driver regular cars and trucks that scare me more. I have seen many driving on 95 and texting, too many driving in the passing lane (which is against the law, but they never get them pulled for this). Just last night there were a group in the passing lane that were doing at least 90 mph. I have also seen a lot of people cut off big trucks just to get in front of them, 80,000 pounds don't stop on a dime. There is no absoulte way to stop tradgedies like this, people just need to start taking other drivers on the road into concideration.

  • Grand Union Mar 25, 2014

    In the UK large trucks have secure devices called tachographs which record exactly the time and speed driven etc. Cops can check these on stopped trucks and immediately see if the driver was driving excessive hours or at excessive speed.