In Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (PA) a 3-ton wood-chipper on wheels came detached from a truck and slammed into a minivan. The crash killed Spencer Morrison, a father, husband, and teacher as well as two of his triplets who were only four-years-old. The remaining child survived with serious injuries.
The driver never checked the connections between his Ford truck and his trailer, but he never attached them, either; another tree employee did. In the days and hours before the crash, he'd taken several pills and consumed at least two drinks.
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As an experienced Virginia (VA) truck injury attorney I’d like to first offer my condolences to the family. It makes me sick to think of the last remaining triplet growing up alone without his father or brother and sister. How anguished Spencer must still be missing her husband and two children every day. Although investigators determined that neither drugs nor alcohol influenced the crash I’d like to think that if the driver was completely sober he may have had the presence of mind to check the connections.
Every day when we get into our cars with our families we assume that other drivers are following safety rules just as we are. If every truck driver took a few extra minutes to check the trailer connections every day countless lives would be saved. As it is many runaway trailer accidents occur each year.
Runaway trailers usually occur as a result of not being properly secured to a vehicle and can cause catastrophic accidents with serious injuries or deaths. Recently we settled a case in which a tractor-trailer rear-ended a passenger vehicle. The result was a $3.5 million settlement for the family of a man who was trapped inside the fiery wreck and died.