Family of Man Killed by FedEx Big Rig During Riot Says Trucker is to Blame
St. Louis, MO – The identity of the Missouri man who was killed last weekend by a FedEx big rig amid ongoing social unrest over the death of George Floyd was released on Wednesday.
Police identified the victim as 29-year-old Barry Perkins III of the Glasgow Village area of St. Louis.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) was the first national media outlet to report on the gruesome and chaotic events that occurred early Saturday morning, which ultimately resulted in Perkins’s death.
Multiple videos captured the incident showing a group of people descending on the FedEx big rig as it came to a stop on Broadway Street, after being rerouted from Interstate 44 due to protestors blocking the roadway.
Looters and rioters can be seen pulling packages from the first of the twin trailers and tossing them to other people in the crowd and onto the ground.
Additional footage of the incident also reveals rioters jumping on the tractor and pounding on both the driver and passenger windows.
Multiple reports claim at least two guns were pointed at the driver from the passenger side of the truck as his trailer was being raided.
According to police, Perkins became stuck on the converter dolly between the dual trailers.
As the truck pulled away, authorities say Perkins was caught by one of the tires and pulled under the rig and dragged several blocks.
He sustained fatal injuries.
Read TNN’s original coverage of the incident HERE.
On Wednesday evening, the Associated Press reported The Witherspoon Law Group (WLG) was hired to represent the Perkins family.
In a statement through WLG, the family claims Perkins “was peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd and was not looting Saturday when he was dragged” by the FedEx truck, placing the blame on the driver.
“The entire Nation was aware of protests demanding justice for the death of Mr. Floyd,” the statement read. “There is no justification for running over a human being with a semi-truck.”
Additionally, WLG disputes the assertions that guns were pointed at the trucker.
Joe Pappalardo of Cleveland, OH-based law firm Gallagher Sharp spoke to TNN regarding Perkins’s death.
Pappalardo, who specializes in defending trucking companies in complex and multi-million dollar accident suits, says the law in this case protects the trucker and FedEx through what’s known as “expressed assumption of the risk.”
“No one is allowed to assume that kind of a risk and then sue someone when something bad happens,” he explained. “If someone puts themselves in a position of peril in that close proximity to a big truck or any vehicle that’s moving, then that person assumes the risk of being hurt or killed.”
TNN reached out to WLG late Wednesday night for a statement, but as of publishing, we have not heard back.
We will update the story if/when we do.
WLG states on its website it specializes in wrongful death lawsuits, specifying those “who have been seriously injured or killed due to the carelessness of others,” in 18-wheeler accidents.
Authorities have yet to identity of the FedEx driver, but did mention he is a 44-year-old caucasian male.
It is also unknown if authorities intend to charge the trucker in the incident.
Earlier this week, TNN spoke with the driver of a big rig which operated through the area only moments before Perkins was killed.
Michigan-based owner-operator Michael Graham was driving a Freightliner and pulling an empty Amazon trailer when he was diverted from the interstate at approximately 2:30 a.m.
He told TNN his rig also came under attack by the same group of rioters.
However, much to Graham’s relief, the looters let him pass.
Click HERE to read Graham’s story and find out why they let him go.
TNN has confirmed that Perkins was the father of two young boys.
Sadly, his infant daughter passed away in 2017.
We will continue to keep you updated on this case, so stay logged on to TransportationNation.com.
Photo from Barry Perkins/Facebook and screenshots from Facebook LIVE