In the fall of 2006, a twenty-three year old male tractor-trailer driver who was hauling coal, died when a rear outer tire on the trailer failed. After the tire failed, the trailer slipped off the right side of the road, overturned, and went over an embankment. The trailer remained attached to the tractor as both went over the embankment, flipping the entire unit upside down. A witness called emergency medical services who arrived and called the county coroner. The coroner arrived and declared the driver dead at the scene. It was determined by Kentucky State Police that the driver was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the incident. Speed at the time of the crash was not listed in the investigation report. Toxicology tests detected tramadol, oxycodone, and hydrocodone in the driver’s system at the time of the crash.

To prevent future occurrences of similar incidents, the following recommendations have been made:

Recommendation No. 1: Employers should require drivers to perform pre-trip and post-trip inspections on the tractor and trailer prior to operation.

Recommendation No. 2: Employers should require the use of seat belts while operating a commercial vehicle.

Recommendation No. 3: Companies should provide professional training for company truck drivers.

Recommendation No. 4: Stabilizer and sensory systems should be mandatory equipment on all commercial vehicles.

Recommendation No. 5: Comprehensive expanded new-hire prescreening and after-hire random drug/ alcohol testing policies should be implemented and enforced for substance abuse.

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Notes/Citation Information

A summary of this case is available as the additional file listed below.

06KY100_Summary.pdf (35 kB)
Case Summary