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on May 22, 2013
Unbelievable and very sad - every weekend the Bay Area news is full of stories of matresses, couches, you name it, flying off the back of trucks, etc. Am I imagining it, or is this a California phenonomen?? I lived in Portland and Seattle prior to moving here last year - never anything like this, unless you count stone chips kicked up from trucks.
A lot of it, Paul, is people who are economically depressed and underwater, packing up their belongings and leaving the state. In their haste to escape the oncoming deluge, mistakes are made, personal items aren't tied down the way they should be. This type of phenomenon doesn't occur in states like Texas or Mississippi.
Go to Google, type in Freak Truck Accidents in Portland and Seattle.
Lots of stories about freak accidents.
As a personal injury attorney since 1972 I have specialized in very serious accidents caused by "big rings." about 15 years ago I actually handled a similar case near the same area of 580 on Grant Line Road. In that case a "bottom dumper" big rig loaded with gravel was going in the opposite direction that my client and her husband were going, at about 6:00 a.m. They were both going about 50 mph.
Suddenly the big-rig jammed on the brakes to avoid rear-ending a hot-rodding Porsche that had cut in front of it. The sudden stop caused the rear trailer to flip on its side, hurling its load of gravel directly into the windshield of my client's car.
The gravel pierced the windshield and at a combined speed of 100 mph. drilled directly into my client's husband's face. The gravel obliterated his skull. My client, the wife, suffered only minor cuts and scratches. The husband's young son sitting in the back seat lost an eye.
I've handled many other big-rig accidents, and I've developed a fear of being anywhere near one on the freeway. You think the drivers are "experts" who know what they're doing? Your spouse better get some big life insurance on you.
Which position is the safest near a big-rig? In front? Behind? To one side?"
The answer is NONE. Big-rigs are lethal weapons on the freeway, often driven by idiots. Stay as clear away as you can.
- Morgan King, Esq, (MorganKing.com).
Maybe not as well reported in other parts of the country as here maybe. Regardless, I think Morgan has the right advice. We owe it to ourselves and our families to give freeway driving the 100% attention it needs with so many dangers out there - debris, drunks, smartphone users, people unable to drive, road rage, speeding, the list goes on.
Before we conclude this incident was an "accident" we should know whether the motorist was doing 85 mph or otherwise ignoring traffic code/common sense.
As so often happens, speeding allows motorists to arrive at Point A at exactly the right instant to be involved in a crash.
"The first thing we must recognize is that crashes are not accidents."
-Ricardo Martinez, M.D., NHTSA Administrator, 1997
I hope the CHP had the wherewithal to take fingerprints from the pipe? Just asking the obvious.
I was thinking the exact same thing as "Vineyards" was thinking about finger prints. This is just a horrifying accident and the family must be devastated.
Farquart brings up an excellenet point, was it an "accident"? I ask was he tailgating? I agree freak accidents happen, but when describing a "freak accident" on our busy highways always makes me ask what is the speed, was there a safe distance between vehicles and were turn signal being used.
This story reminds me of a family from years ago traveling on Hwy.5 going south and a pipe slid off the truck in front of them. It came through the windshield between the drivers and passenger seat & proceeded to impale a small child in the back seat, in the car behind the truck. We knew this family. Not long ago I saw a truck carrying plastic pipe stop fast at what they thought was a stop sign. It was a "yield" sign therefore they didn't need to stop but slow down. Several pipes flew forward into the crosswalk where children cross to school. I was amazed that the guy picked up the pipes and put them back on his truck and still did not tie them down. I think the driver of the truck just wanted to get out of there before a policeman came and he would be given a citation. The moral of the story is do not follow and stay clear of trucks carrying anything that could come loose. Although we do not know the details of this mans sudden death from a flying object, it can happen.
I agree that staying away from the big rigs is one way to avoid some potential problems and a bunch of nicks to windshields. But, there is other debris on the freeway all the time that is not necessarily a result of someone not tying down a load or driving poorly. Once some metal object, maybe a broken off tail pipe, was kicked up by another car and shattered my windshield. It happened so fast that I didn't see it coming. Luckily my small daughter wasn't in the car. I was covered with glass but no injuries, luckily, except for the $250 to replace the windshield. You have to pay attention to the road to avoid whatever you can.
Sometimes "freak" accidents do happen. My family and I on vacation were once motoring along at about 55 mph when a truck entered the road coming our direction. The truck got up to about 35 mph when it dislodged a softball sized rock that had been stuck between the rear duals. That rock bounced once and hit our windshield at 90 mph. It didn't quite penetrate.
I worry about that when driving and is another reason I prefer to drive slower. 60mph is 22 feet/second slower than someone going 75mph. Less gas and more reaction time- enough to potentially save a life.
Well, what a tragedy in any event - a very young man lost his life. Condolences to his family and friends.
Arnold..there is a special place in hell for you....what a tool.
I cannot believe the idiocy of those on here who are talking about whether the guy was speeding. First of all, it's 8:10am on the 580...I don't think it's possible to go above 20 at commute hour, and second, what's the difference if he was going 20 or 100, did he deserve to die because he may have been speeding? Show some compassion instead of looking for the "wrong" lest you live in glass houses!
I rarely saw this when living in other states. I'm amazed by the number of ratrap pick-up trucks with loose cargo that I see on California freeways. Why is this tolerated?
I had my side window smashed by a rock from a gravel truck, while my car was parked. It was tempered glass, so it just exploded.
Dirt and gravel was being hauled away from a nearby lot on the side of a hill to build a house on a lot that most people would call Unbuildable.
I got the license number, tracked him down, and called the Trucker.
He said How could I be sure it wasn't a rock from the street?
and that that was a "Road Hazard", NOT HIS FAULT.
The truck load was not covered with a tarp, or anything, as required by law, and was piled high.
It was a small window, and I had other things to do than go to small claims court,
but the incident did impress me with the Integrity, or lack of same that some Truckers have.
One time I was driving on 580 up the dublin grade and had to avoid a BBQ grill with propane tank sitting in the second lane from the left.
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