A man being charged with reckless homicide took the stand in his own defense at his jury trial in Knoxville. The defendant, also charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, could be fined up to $10,000 and faces a prison sentence of three to 15 years if he is found guilty.

The accident that claimed a woman’s life took place in 2012. Police say the defendant recklessly caused a truck accident; they say that the defendant was driving his semi-truck reckless, causing a tire blowout which lead to the collision. The defendant’s truck then landed on the car of the 42-year-old victim. Attorneys for the defense say that the blown tire caused to the accident.

Witnesses of the collision also testified in court; Tennessee Highway Patrol took the stand on behalf of the state. The victim’s family attended the court proceedings. The victim’s mother says that many people are mourning for her daughter, who was a special education teaching assistant in Lenoir City. The mother and brother of the decedent hope that the driver will be held responsible for the accident, and the brother issued a statement warning others to be more cautious when driving to avoid similar accidents.

The closing arguments in the trial were set for Sept. 24. The family of the decedent could choose to file a lawsuit against the driver for wrongful death. A wrongful death attorney may help the family recover monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of companionship. If the defendant were to be found guilty in criminal court, a finding of guilt could potentially contribute to a case against the defendant in civil court; however, civil court has a lower burden of proof than criminal court, and a guilty verdict is not necessary for bringing a civil case.

Source: WATE, “Trial starts for truck driver charged in deadly Knoxville crash“, Stephanie Beecken, September 23, 2013