A large piece of flying metal on South Carolina's State Highway 45 took the life of a young father running an errand less than a mile from his house during his day off from work. While the fatal accident seems shocking, roadway debris creates life-threatening -- and, sadly, life-taking -- dangers every minute of every day.
This description of the deadly crash published on the WBTW-TV website is worth quoting in full for the way it demonstrates so plainly how items falling off trucks and trailers can cause fatalities:
The State Highway Patrol reports a pickup truck hauling a trailer traveling south on Highway 45 lost a large metal object. That object was struck by a northbound pickup truck and then the object flew back into the southbound lane where it was hit by a third vehicle. The driver of that third vehicle died.
The accident occurred near the town of Loris on May 19, 2014, and the official cause of death was massive head trauma. Police have charged the man who was pulling the trailer from which the object fell with spilling a load.
Every state and the federal government have laws and, for commercial truckers, regulations that make haulers liable for property damage, injuries and deaths caused by items that wind up on the road. South Carolina, in fact, has made securing loads on trucks and trailers a point of emphasis. But too many private and commercial drivers ignore the rules, risk the fines and recklessly endanger other people's lives.
As a Carolina personal injury and wrongful death attorney, I've also taken a special interest in hauling and trailer safety. I'm always dismayed when I learn of another eminently preventable accident like this one in central eastern South Carolina. Loads should never be unsecured, meaning large and potentially deadly debris should never threaten people.