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Fatal accident, traffic flagman.

Discussion in 'Safety Competition' started by mitch504, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    There was a fatal accident here that disturbs me on so many levels. A 22 y/o flagman was killed by a friend of mine, driving a company truck owned by a very close friend of mine, who was also my best customer.

    This man was driving an F250, pulling a 10-ton gooseneck trailer loaded with pallets of feed. An SUV stopped by a flagman, and he couldn't stop in time. He tried to go around the SUV on the right, but the corner of the trailer clipped the back corner of the SUV, pushing it over the young flagger.

    I'm not sure if the flagman stopped the SUV suddenly, like the pickup driver said, or if he was just a little too late noticing, but I guess there is really no way he's not at fault. I have known and worked with him for years, he is normally a very careful driver, and he is a kind man who wouldn't have hurt this boy for anything. He is not the type at all to get impatient and act like an idiot like so many drivers do. It gets even worse when you know the man he killed was his cousin.

    My friend who owned the truck is also devestated by the thought that he is partly responsible.

    The SCDOT inspected and weighed the truck and found both truck and trailer to be in good condition, with properly adjusted brakes, though the truck was towing more than it's tow rating. The driver did not have a CDL, but he was an experienced driver with a good record. We don't know yet what the legal ramifications will be, for the owner or driver. There are comments on the local newspapers website calling for him to be charged with vehicular homicide.

    This one few seconds has ruined 2 families lives, severely damaged another, if the legal system doesn't ruin the owner's too.

    Guys, let's all remember, wether we are on the side of the road or in the truck, BE CAREFUL, it only takes a moment. Please include all these people in your prayers too, these are all good people in this tragedy.

    Here is a story by the nearest tv station, 80 miles away, but the picture they show was taken nowhere near here, and most of the details, including the driver's name, are wrong.


    http://www.wbtw.com/story/23117934/sc-construction-worker-killed-in-williamsburg-county-crash
     
  2. willie59

    willie59 Super Moderator

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    Sorry to hear mitch, sometimes events conspire to make the "perfect" unavoidable situation, a true accident. I hope the investigation finds this to be the case, but I'm afraid the driver will be held somehow responsible for the over GVWR. Don't know to what degree they will apply this to the tragedy of the young flagman. This has always been my fear driving a heavy truck, not being able to stop for a situation, even though I stay on my toes driving and keep plenty of stopping distance.
     
  3. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Hate to hear about the accident mitch.The road is the most dangerous job site I can think of ,and most of us are exposed to it day in and out.My father and I talk about this all the time.I no longer worry about off road job site safety as If we dont like something about the way the job is going we can just stop , Talk & re-group as needed.Allot different story when on the road with so many other people going different directions at the same time. My thoughts & prayers go out to all involved in the tragedy.
     
  4. Tiny

    Tiny Senior Member

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    Mitch , This is a nightmare for everyone . Flagging traffic has always been dangerous . Company had a guy hit while flagging traffic a few years back . Threw him 30 feet but he recovered completely .

    The lawyers will turn the whole deal in to a grand mess , They always do . My thoughts and prayer will follow all .
     
  5. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    That's awful Mitch, my prayers go out to all that were involved.

    I absolutely hate working in ROW or on a traffic lane, it's more dangerous than being in a deep ditch. As td25c said, off the road we can control it. If a ditch or site is not safe then we can stop and correct it. On the road is another story, so many distracted drivers and so much we can't control. The driver of that truck will have to live with this for the rest of his life whether he had a cause in it or not.
     
  6. MarcPierre

    MarcPierre New Member

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    Sad to her this. Everyday thousands of accidents occur. The road is the most dangerous thing and inspite knowing this everybody has to use it. Accidents are hard to avoid. It's all about destiny.
     
  7. Buckethead

    Buckethead Senior Member

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    Sorry to read this.
     
  8. FSERVICE

    FSERVICE Senior Member

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    I hate to see/read things like this!! my thoughts & prayers go out to all the family of all involved.. hopefully the lawyers will see this as a true accident & not try to profit from a bad situation!!
     
  9. Plebeian

    Plebeian Well-Known Member

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  10. Old Junk Man

    Old Junk Man Well-Known Member

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    This is going to sound mean. If I was on the jury the driver and owner would be in deep do do. Two things you cant dispute. overloaded truck and driving too fast for conditions. Harm a worker in a construction zone and its you fault no excuses. The Driver should have slowed down and kept a safe distance between him and the vehicle in front. And this wasn't a accident. It was a fatal crash caused entirely by the careless actions of the driver of a overloaded truck. Everyone knows when entering a construction zone you need to be prepared to stop. most times there are warning signs that state flagman ahead be prepared to stop.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  11. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    I won't pile the blame on, but honestly my Dodge diesel 350 was at it's limits with a 10 ton gooseneck on behind. With a load slightly over 20,000 pounds (I didn't load it and scaled it at the unload yard) plus of course the empty trailer weight, it had adequate brakes. The trailer was three single axles with brakes on every wheel which is not typical. A 250 is just not enough truck to be pulling more than about half that load, in my somewhat experienced opinion.

    Horribly sad, anybody got the skinny on how it turned out for the driver and the owner of the rig?
     
  12. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    Being as this happened in 2013 does anyone know if there was any civil suit filed in this case and if so the results if it is settled yet?
     
  13. oldtanker

    oldtanker Senior Member

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    I saw this before and refrained from posting on it. I have very strong feelings about this subject. Just today I saw a one ton with a goose neck on I94 near Alexandria MN with enough bales on the trailer to be overweight. Was oversized too with no wide or oversize load signs.

    It matter not want your truck of any size will pull. It matter what it will stop in a reasonable distance! If you exceed that safe level you are dead wrong. Sure there are guys out there with tons of experience who can get away with it time and again but all it takes is one little mistake and someone is dead. I have absolutely no sympathy for the driver! Nor for the owner of the truck because they have the responsibility to insure their equipment is being operated in a safe manner. Most often in a case like this the owner is trying to keep from paying for an extra trip. That endangers my wife, my kids and my grandkids for profit! I'm not cool with that at all!

    Rick
     
  14. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    You can be 100% safe and legal and still be in trouble on the road. When I was first hauling heavy equipment I was humming up a long straight stretch, two lanes of traffic, no on or off ramps, 55 mph zone... left about six or eight car lengths for stopping distance, plenty! Got up to where there was a signal light ahead, light turned yellow, five cars dove over to get in front of me... not enough air on the planet to stop that rig! Luckily with all the tires howling and billowing smoke the left lane cleared and I went sliding by all those idiots who no doubt were thinking how stupid that truck driver was, hadn't I seen the light? Was only the beginning but it sure as hell made me a lot wiser driver.
     
  15. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    lantraxco, never had the pleasure of driving anything bigger than a pick-up with a trailer but always hated the way if you want to leave a bit extra room for safety some jerk thinks that is a reserved spot for him! Did get to escort roading some large equipment like front end loaders and a scraper. The idiots on the road who don't understand the size of the blind spots for the driver of such a machine!
     
  16. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    The blind spots for people driving cars is apparently everything but their tunnel vision. I have on many occasions in an 85 foot long dump truck and transfer setup loaded to 100K paced cars coming down loooong on ramps... when they finally get to the end and look up, it's like waking from a dream into a nightmare. Would be funny if it weren't so damn dangerous. Back in the days when I drove lowboy around the city of Portland, Oregon my catchphrase was "made my average today, saved three lives. none of them knew it".
     
  17. DoyleX

    DoyleX Senior Member

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    I dont care if you hammer me but it isn't always totally the drivers fault. I have seen flaggers too occupied with their phone and not paying attention to traffic. Also in the wrong spot for good visibility, like coming over the crest of a hill and.. Hello!
     
  18. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    There was no suit against the driver or owner, it was settled quickly for very high six figures. There did turn out to be a suit between the parent he lived with and the parent that lived 40 miles away and hadn't seen him in over 10 years to determine who got the money!
     
  19. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    I can remember several incidents in the 80's and early 90's operating towing equipment, lights are rotating and flares a quarter mile back up the highway.
    It doesn't mater your still a sitting duck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  20. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    My brother lives in Seattle and witnessed a dandy.

    He was following a truck hauling a prestressed concrete bridge beam using a steer car. A car came down an on ramp and merged traffic-driving between the tractor
    and steer car. Right under the beam-a lady he figured to be in her early 80's with out a clue to what she had just done:eek: