COLUMBUS, Ohio (CN) – A truck driver was smothered to death by the fold-up bunk in his $160,000 Freightliner, his widow claims in court.
Georgia R. Bonney sued FYDA Freightliner Columbus and AA Truck Sleeper, in Franklin County Court.
She claims her husband, James, died on Sept. 22, 2012, after the drop-down bunk folded up while he was in it, trapping him between the mattress and the wall of the truck.
The widow claims that AA Truck Sleeper, of Fort Worth, modified “the sleeper compartment of the vehicle, including the installation of a fold out sleeper bunk” for FYDA Freightliner Columbus.
James Reynolds had bought the truck from Freightliner for $160,000 less than a month before his death, his widow says.
The bunk folded up on him after he parked at the Travel Centers of America Truck Stop in London, Ohio, Georgia Bonney says.
She says her husband was trapped and “struggled to open the bunk and/or free himself of the compartment for an extended period of time, but was unable to take full breaths and ultimately died.”
Bonney claims the bunk “was designed with insufficient safety mechanisms to ensure that an individual using the bed … would not become trapped inside.”
Her husband’s body was discovered four days later by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. An autopsy showed that he died of severe hydration, “secondary to his prolonged entrapment.”
His widow seeks damages for wrongful death and product liability.
She is represented by Michael Rourke with Rourke & Blumenthal.
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