At approximately 5:00 AM on a spring morning, a 45 year-old male semi-tractor trailer driver headed south on an interstate highway with a back-haul of brake drums. He crossed a 60’ grass depressed median, drove over a cable barrier, was struck by a northbound 15-passenger van with 12 occupants, hit a cut rock wall and caught fire. The semi truck driver and 10 occupants within the van died.
To prevent future occurrences of similar incidents, the following recommendations have been made:
Recommendation No. 1: Commercial vehicle carriers should establish and implement an appropriate comprehensive safety and driver training program that includes recognition of driver distraction and driver fatigue.
Recommendation No. 2: Median barriers along rural interstate roadways with high volumes of large truck traffic should be built with test level 5 barriers.
Recommendation No. 3: Commercial vehicles should be equipped with the latest communication technology available.
Recommendation No. 4: Transportation companies should consider banning cell phone use by drivers while operating a commercial vehicle.
Recommendation No. 5: Transportation companies should require drivers to have adequate rest before operating a commercial vehicle.
Recommendation No. 6: Research should be performed on the design and location of semi truck fuel tanks to reduce their exposure on commercial vehicles.
Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, "Semi Tractor-Trailer Driver Dies in Median Crossover Crash; 10 Others Die" (2012). Fatality Case Reports--Motor Vehicle. 12.