Accidents

Discussion in 'Tanker, Bulk and Dump Trucking Forum' started by GasHauler, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Eaton18

    Eaton18 Road Train Member

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    Sep 3, 2011
    Waverly, KS
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    Real newbie, rookie driver, no accidents, and really doing everything I can do to keep it that way. However as a LEO, I've had to be involved with investing accidents involving trucks, and there's 2 that stick in my mind to this day. These happened back in the '80s and '90s.

    1. On US-50 highway, about 10 miles west of Emporia. 2 TTs hit head on, on a bridge. 3 drivers involved, trucks burned, as did all 3 drivers. What is engrained in my memory, is being the first on scene, finding the rigs fully engulfed. Fire so hot that you could not get very close. I was met by what I thought and was hoping to be one of the drivers, sadly just a motorist stopping to help. I did see the driver of one of the trucks, seated behind the wheel, obviously dead, and burning. Not something easily forgotten.

    2. Husband and wife, on same highway, however a few miles east of the above. Wife is following husband in separate vehicles. TT crosses center line just in front of husband's car, then swerves back into his lane. Husband, knowing wife is just a few cars behind his, looks into his rearview mirror in time to see TT run over his wife's car. The tractor had to be lifted off the car. The wife was not recognizable.

    Now I'm going to comment on one that happened on March 26, 2010. Very personal to me, I was not involved, however seen the fatal victim in the hospital hours before being pronounced dead.

    A mini-van was stopped on that same highway, very close to the accident mentioned in #2 above. The driver was attempting to make a left-turn. Facing her, also stopped was a semi truck, also going to make a left turn off the highway. As the mini-van turns, a third vehicle, a semi, passes the stopped semi, on the shoulder, colliding with the right side of the mini-van. The semi did not slow to pass on the shoulder. The fatality, a 1 year old boy Kolten Erwin, was in his car seat, in the right rear seat. Of course he received the full impact of that semi's bumper.

    The 1 yr old, was my great-nephew, my little brother (whom I've mentioned here, as being a flatbedder), first grandson. Now here's the rest of the story... That boy, was born on March 9th, 2009. He was a miracle baby. The mother (my niece) was told by doctors during her pregnancy that he would not be born alive. If he was, he would not live more than a few days. This boy was fighter, after spending about 6 months in the same hospital that he later would die in, he was released, a healthy, normal boy.

    Just 17 days after celebrating his 1st year, he was killed in an accident that was totally preventable. The driver of the semi, was never charged with anything. In Kansas it is fully legal to pass another vehicle stopped preparing to make a left turn, on the right. I think this is something that needs to change, but will not. This accident nearly caused my brother to stop driving. I think that to this day, he still has problems with wanting to be away from home, since he was away when this happened. He was fortunate enough to make it back, to say his farewell to his grandson......

    Photos are of Kolten being taken to the Life Flight helicopter, the mini-van, the semi, and then of Kolten, taken just 17 days earlier during his 1st birthday. Then finally of Kolten, shortly after being born, fighting for his life.

    I post this so that any new drivers, or well seasoned veterans may give some thought to just how the littlest decision you make while driving, may have dire consequences to others. I'm sure that the driver of the semi, just thought passing on the right was nothing major.
     

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  3. bulletproof77

    bulletproof77 Medium Load Member

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    Oct 2, 2009
    Victorville, CA
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    Regarding the above post by Eaton18..I wonder how the "driver" who killed that child sleeps at night ? Or even looks in the mirror ? Does he tell himself over and over "But I was perfectly legal to pass"..? Does he even have enough conscience to deal with it ? I wonder.
     
  4. keepitsimple

    keepitsimple Light Load Member

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    Aug 2, 2011
    ontario, Canada
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    wow, eaton. Such a sad story.

    My heart goes out to all involved.
     
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  5. Against The Wind

    Against The Wind <strong>"The Freedom Man"</strong>

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    Sep 22, 2007
    So. Calif.
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    So sad Eaton...sorry for your loss. Just having my sixth child born on the 21st I can't imagine how it would feel to lose a child at that age.
     
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  6. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

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    Oct 23, 2005
    Vegas/Jersey
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    So many sad but true stories. You'd think the companies would step in and give some type of counseling to the driver when needed, and some do. The biggest message that can be given here is the fact that an accident of major proportions can happen to anyone anywhere. Those that think it can not happen to them are living in a dream world.

    There are points and skills you can use to prevent such a thing happen and there are unavoidable accident that can happen. The best training is being prepared. Know your limits and think about what you would do after the accident. Think it all the way through. Of course we all know avoidance is the best but there are times you're just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Any safety department that says there's no unavoidable accident is just a department that's not willing to investigate like they should. So please be on your toes, know your surroundings, know yourself, and your truck. That's a good start and don't think you're not fallible.
     
  7. pathfinder1361

    pathfinder1361 Light Load Member

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    Aug 19, 2011
    miami, fl
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    i know of an accident down here in miami, involving a loaded gas tanker
    (9000 gal). fairly new driver, young 20's, heading south on the florida turnpike about 2 am. for whatever reason a chevy van was either stopped or creeping along in the right operating lane. driver didnt see the van in time (maybe lites out on van not sure) . so, gas tanker slams into the van doing about 60 mph, and for the amazing part, he jackknifes and the whole unit spun around 180 degrees and wound up pointed northbound in the southbound ditch! truckdriver walked away minor injuries. supposed he went directly to his church to thank god! he didnt turn anymore wheels at that place.
     
  8. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

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    Oct 23, 2005
    Vegas/Jersey
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    A gasoline tanker is just like any other truck in an accident until you introduce air into the mixture. It may be a tad bit top heavy but that's about it. Our trucks have baffles in the larger compartments and it was rare that you felt any surge at all. It's been since 2003 since we've lost a driver and before that it was many years. We do lose drivers once in awhile but what company doesn't? I'd match our safety record to anyone's. But we still hold safety meetings once a month and any problem in the field a driver can stop operations until he or she feels safe. With us a drivers word goes along way.
     
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  9. pathfinder1361

    pathfinder1361 Light Load Member

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    Aug 19, 2011
    miami, fl
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    forgot to say that the unit stayed upright and on her wheels the whole time.
     
  10. keepitsimple

    keepitsimple Light Load Member

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    Aug 2, 2011
    ontario, Canada
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    pathfinder......... were there people in the van?

    were they hurt?
     
  11. pathfinder1361

    pathfinder1361 Light Load Member

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    Aug 19, 2011
    miami, fl
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    to my knowledge, it was supposedly a bakery delivery guy. pretty sure it was only the driver and he was behind the wheel at the time. he was not seriously injured. the van took a big hit on the rear. thankfully nothing caught on fire.
     
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