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Russian Long-Haul Driver Sentenced

In November of 2011, District Judge Deschamps sentenced contract truck driver Sergey Buslayev to a 20-year prison term, with 10 years suspended on conditions, for his role in negligently causing the death of volunteer firefighter Jerry Parrick. Parrick was parked in his truck on the shoulder of I-90, using his flashing emergency lights to warn traffic of another accident ahead. Buslayev was driving a tandem trailer rig under contract for Federal Express Ground Package System, Inc. Buslayev lost control of the tandem rig and crashed into Parrick's truck, killing him.

David Paoli led our firm's representation of the family in their civil lawsuit against Federal Express Ground and its two contract Russian drivers. He negotiated a settlement for the family and then, after the settlement, volunteered to help with the criminal prosecution of Buslayev. The State of Montana charged Buslayev with Negligent Homicide and Negligent Endangerment. David and Mineral County Attorney Marcia Boris tried the criminal case to a jury in June of 2011. The prosecution's case emphasized Buslayev's excessive speed, failure to yield to emergency personnel, inadequate maintenance of the tractor-trailer combination, improper braking, several violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, and fatigue. The jury found Buslayev guilty of Negligent Homicide and Negligent Endangerment.

After a period of pre-sentence investigation, Judge Deschamps sentenced Buslayev to 20 years at Montana State Prison on the Negligent Homicide count, with 10 years suspended on conditions. The judge also sentenced Buslayev to a 6-month sentence on the Negligent Endangerment count, to run concurrently with the prison term. The Missoulian covered the story in the following articles:



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