Truck Driver Injustice in Wyoming
Wyoming – Can you imagine not doing the job you love? Losing it because someone else did something wrong? Having your life turned upside down and into a living hell because of it? Well, let me tell you the story of Mick Knudson, one man who has gone through these experiences.
Driving truck has always been his passion, his other love besides his family. Then one day, he was driving on a road that he had never driven before, and later found out that it was a dangerous road on which many have died on.
He wasn’t the only truck on the road that day, there were 3 others driving the same road. We will call them Prime (in the lead), Interstate (middle) and JB (last truck). We will call our driver KoolPak (Mick Knudson). So the order was Prime, Interstate, KoolPak, and then JB.
KoolPak was driving to deliver his load so he could head home to his family. He had two trucks in front of him and another behind him that he had passed in Colorado as he was heading into Wyoming. A passing lane was coming up and he wanted to get ahead of the trucks in front of him, as he was moving faster than they were.
Since KoolPak was in the passing lane, as the slower traffic was in the right lane, he decided to pass Interstate and Prime. As he was coming up to pass, Interstate pulled into the left lane, which had KoolPak putting on his brakes. Interstate passed the truck in front of him. KoolPak followed suit. He was about neck-to-neck with Prime, when Prime’s lane was ending and he was supposed to merge.
We all know that when you are to merge into another lane, the lane that is NOT ending has the right of way. Before you change lanes (or merge) make sure there is enough room. After you have signaled, check that no one has moved into your blind spot, right after you start the lane change, to double-check that your path is clear.
With that being said, we will go back to our KoolPak driver. So the Right lane is ending, he is neck-to-neck with Prime, when all of a sudden, Prime puts on his blinker and starts to merge into the left lane where KoolPak was! KoolPak grabs his CB and says “You’re supposed to merge to me, Prime!” KoolPak heard someone say “Yeah Prime.” KoolPak has to act quickly or be hit by Prime’s truck and possibly be hurt or killed. KoolPak looks down the road and sees a corvette pulling to the side of the road so KoolPak moves into the oncoming traffic lane and speeds up to get around Prime and Interstate and avoid an accident.
KoolPak is relieved that all is well and nothing bad came of it. It was a good thing the corvette drive was an attentive driver and saw what was happening, otherwise, KoolPak would have never gone into the opposite lane.
At this point KoolPak continues on his way to the Port of Wyoming. When he arrives he finds a state trooper pulling in behind him and is detained along with the Interstate, Prime and JB drivers. After the State Trooper, has gotten everyone’s statements, KoolPak is given three tickets: 1) Speeding, 2) Passing in a No-Passing Zone and 3) Reckless driving. With that all done with everyone was on their way.
Now, life went on for Knudson. He continued on his job that he loved and in the meantime he had a lawyer getting his defense, or so he thought, together to fight the reckless driving and no-passing zone tickets, as he admitted to the speeding, which had actually occurred after the near-accident-incident.
So along comes July, on a special day for Knudson, his birthday. He is headed to trial and pretty confident that he will be cleared of the charges so he can go back to his normal life. But that was so not the case. His attorney was not prepared as he hadn’t subpoenaed a main witness and he actually did nothing to help Mick Knudson’s defense. At the end of the trial, Mick is in a state of shock, as his wife watches him being placed in handcuffs and led off to spend 5 days in jail. An innocent Mick Knudson was also forced to pay thousands of dollars in fines to the court.
Almost 2 years and 3 lawyers later, Knudson is still fighting his conviction. Since his first lawyer didn’t really prepare his defense as Knudson thought he was, nor did the 2 other lawyers – one was even told it was a bad “Copy and Paste” job. You would think that all the errors and wrong-doings would have been seen at the trial, but since Knudson has never been in that situation, nor did he have access to all the information, like the Police Report or anything, he never realized what was going on until they slammed the jailhouse door behind him.
Months after the trial Knudson finally received the police report with the original statements, and realized that during the trial both witnesses for the state changed their stories from those made during the traffic incident. He also realized that even his own lawyer helped them. The JB and Prime drivers both stated in the trial that KoolPak ran Prime off the road and then miles further, passed the Interstate in the same manner in the No Passing Zone, which is not what was stated in the Police report at all. The passing of the two trucks happened in ONE action, not 2 separate ones. The 2 drivers both changed their stories from March 22, 2010 to July 15, 2010.
Although in the trial, at first the Prime Driver does state that it was all one action, until Knudson’s attorney gets into the action and has him revising his statement and saying it was two separate incidents! His own attorney turned the witness against him! He led him into saying it was further down when he makes the next pass! How can your own attorney do that? Why would your own attorney do that?
Everyone is trying to say that if he wasn’t speeding then this would not have happened, but what everyone is not seeing is that, that is not what happened as is clearly seen by reading the police report and the transcripts. According to Knudson, “we were going uphill and my truck and the Prime truck were neck-to-neck, the speeding, which I admitted to, was after I had passed the trucks and was on the straightway and the trooper was following me.”
This horrible injustice has brought havoc into many lives. Knudson has lost his job he loves and good money that would have supported his family has went to the “justice system.” His family has suffered because of the focus that Knudson has had on the injustice of his trial and appeals.
Knudson has the evidence of the Police Report and the trial transcripts. The judge in his case was anything but impartial in his judgment and this case is wrought with Professional Misconduct, Brady Violations, changed testimony and Ineffective Assistance of Counsel.
We believe that on July 15, 2010 Milton J. Knudson did not receive a fair trial. His constitutional rights were absolutely and totally denied. All lawyers involved should be held accountable as many professional rules of conduct were broken and ethical duties thrown aside. There have been attorneys who have viewed this case and have agreed that we have a “broken system” and that we “should live with it”, while refusing to take any action to correct the corruption.
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