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Truck blown over onto trooper's car

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Janet M.'s Comment
member avatar

From the video description: "The video shows a semi truck driver traveling westbound on I-80 near Elk Mountain. A gust of wind suddenly blows the truck over on top of a police car, which was parked on the side of interstate responding to another crash.

"Our troopers were already in the same area working on two other semi trucks that had blown off the interstate," Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Kelly Finn tells EastIdahoNews.com. "Fortunately nobody was in the police car or it would have been a lot worse."

Finn says wind gusts were nearly 70 mph around 3 p.m. Tuesday when the crash occurred. A high wind advisory was in effect prohibiting commercial vehicles on I-80 between Rawlings and Laramie.

"We're seeing less and less compliance from these trucking companies when these wind advisories are out," Finn says. "They're in a hurry and taking chances and it's dangerous."

Wind advisories have been in place on this portion of I-80 for nearly two weeks, according to Finn. When gusts reach 40 mph, a high wind warning is posted. When gusts reach 60 mph, I-80 is closed to high profile vehicles.

"We've had wind gusts reach 90 mph and trucks are still out on the road," Finn says.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol on its Facebook page Friday morning. Within hours, it had been viewed nearly 800,000 times and shared over 27,000 times.

"All we ask is that you please follow high wind advisories and closures when you are traveling in our great state...even if you plan to travel at reduced speeds," the Facebook post reads. "Hopefully this video illustrates why."

Nobody was injured in the three semi crashes but Finn says it's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt if drivers continue to ignore warnings.

"I am so lucky right now that I have not lost two troopers," Finn explains. "We can't keep relying on luck. We have to get people to follow these advisories."

embarrassed.gifshocked.pngwtf.gifwtf-2.gif

In other words, the driver was completely in the wrong for being on the road when it was closed to high profile vehicles. Yes, it's his job to check for high wind advisories before getting on the road, and if the wind comes up while driving, it's his job to stop and check if there's a wind advisory. There's no way he didn't notice 60 mph gusts, and I'm pretty sure I remember signs across the road in that stretch that will tell you there's a high wind advisory.

If you find yourself in that situation where you're driving and the wind suddenly comes up, the best thing you can do is pull off the road as soon as possible. If there are no exits coming up, then pull onto the shoulder as a last resort. If you can find a place that's somewhat protected from the wind, great; but if you can't, it's still better for your truck to blow over while it's parked on the shoulder than while you're driving down the road.

Why would this driver be STUPID enough to be on I-80 with winds that bad with or without officials closing the road to high profile vehicles? Even I'm smart enough to know that's insane! BTW: How much trouble will that driver be in for doing that? Could that qualify as reckless driving?

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

The only hard thing, would be, is how are you supposed to put your 3 reflective triangles out with that high of winds. DOT says you have to put it out after you have been parked for 10 min. Do you have any insight on how to do this?

The triangles have weighted bases. Sometimes they still blow over, though. As Vendingdude pointed out, you want to try to keep everything (your truck, your triangles) parallel with the wind as much as possible.

Again, though, the best idea is to pay attention to the weather so you don't end up on a stretch of road in high wind where there is no place to pull off. I haven't been able to drive for over two months because of surgery but still have the daily habit of checking the weather for the next three days. There's really no excuse with all the weather information available on the Internet.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

slick%20roads_zps5mbobnro.jpg

Above is a picture of one of the signs above a highway in Wyoming. By the way, Wyoming has a service specifically for truck drivers. (They know it's tough to drive a truck in their state.)

WYDOT Commercial Vehicle Operator Portal

"This is a free service provided by WYDOT to commercial vehicle operators traveling the state of Wyoming. The purpose of the portal is to provide commercial vehicle operators with road and travel information tailored to commercial vehicles. The portal includes a new tool developed specifically for commercial vehicles based on feedback we have received. This tool provides customized road weather forecasts that predict wind, visibility and surface impacts along Wyoming's three interstates (I-25, I-80 and I-90) and other routes most heavily travelled by truck traffic. Additional tools will be added to the site as the portal matures.

"These road impact forecasts are written and updated daily by WYDOT's on-site meteorologist. All forecasts are tailored specifically for commercial vehicles and the common challenges faced by commercial drivers in the state. Weather conditions in Wyoming can vary dramatically based on location and terrain. Hence, all routes have been divided into several forecast sections in order to expose common trouble spots and provide more accurate forecasts with more detail.

"Forecasts are provided for a 72-hour period, in 12-hour increments for visibility and road surface conditions and in three-hour increments for wind. Each forecast has a specific impact level (low, moderate, or high)."

Why would this driver be STUPID enough to be on I-80 with winds that bad with or without officials closing the road to high profile vehicles? Even I'm smart enough to know that's insane! BTW: How much trouble will that driver be in for doing that? Could that qualify as reckless driving?

I couldn't find a specific law about what the penalty would be if you drove on the road when it has been closed for high winds, but it's probably something like failure to obey a traffic control device. Here's a recent news article from the Wyoming State Patrol's website. I guarantee your friendly state trooper is not going to be happy with you if you are driving your truck on a road that is closed.

HIGH WIND CLOSURES ARE NOT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

not4hire's Comment
member avatar

I couldn't find a specific law about what the penalty would be if you drove on the road when it has been closed for high winds, but it's probably something like failure to obey a traffic control device.

Wyoming Statutes Title 24 Chapter 1

24-1-109. Closing or restricting use; failure to observe signs and markers; exceptions.

(a) Any person who willfully fails to observe any sign, marker, warning, notice, or direction, placed or given under W.S. 24-1-108 is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof by any court of competent jurisdiction, shall be subject to a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00) or to imprisonment for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

But in this case destruction of govt property, endangering the life of an officer, reckless disregard for human life...they could really throw on some criminal charges here.

Janet M.'s Comment
member avatar

slick%20roads_zps5mbobnro.jpg

Above is a picture of one of the signs above a highway in Wyoming. By the way, Wyoming has a service specifically for truck drivers. (They know it's tough to drive a truck in their state.)

WYDOT Commercial Vehicle Operator Portal

"This is a free service provided by WYDOT to commercial vehicle operators traveling the state of Wyoming. The purpose of the portal is to provide commercial vehicle operators with road and travel information tailored to commercial vehicles. The portal includes a new tool developed specifically for commercial vehicles based on feedback we have received. This tool provides customized road weather forecasts that predict wind, visibility and surface impacts along Wyoming's three interstates (I-25, I-80 and I-90) and other routes most heavily travelled by truck traffic. Additional tools will be added to the site as the portal matures.

"These road impact forecasts are written and updated daily by WYDOT's on-site meteorologist. All forecasts are tailored specifically for commercial vehicles and the common challenges faced by commercial drivers in the state. Weather conditions in Wyoming can vary dramatically based on location and terrain. Hence, all routes have been divided into several forecast sections in order to expose common trouble spots and provide more accurate forecasts with more detail.

"Forecasts are provided for a 72-hour period, in 12-hour increments for visibility and road surface conditions and in three-hour increments for wind. Each forecast has a specific impact level (low, moderate, or high)."

double-quotes-start.png

Why would this driver be STUPID enough to be on I-80 with winds that bad with or without officials closing the road to high profile vehicles? Even I'm smart enough to know that's insane! BTW: How much trouble will that driver be in for doing that? Could that qualify as reckless driving?

double-quotes-end.png

I couldn't find a specific law about what the penalty would be if you drove on the road when it has been closed for high winds, but it's probably something like failure to obey a traffic control device. Here's a recent news article from the Wyoming State Patrol's website. I guarantee your friendly state trooper is not going to be happy with you if you are driving your truck on a road that is closed.

HIGH WIND CLOSURES ARE NOT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY

.

What about his job? Could his company he works for have grounds to terminate him for this? After all he did drive on a road officials had closed to semi trucks for high winds? Driver should have some serious explaining to do as far as company management goes. Plus driver did demolish a police car. WY Highway Patrol can't be happy about that.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Janet M.'s Comment
member avatar

But in this case destruction of govt property, endangering the life of an officer, reckless disregard for human life...they could really throw on some criminal charges here.

Could this driver also be terminated from his company for this? After all he did drive on road that officials had already closed to semi trucks due to the winds. I'm sure driver has some serious explaining to do to respecting company management. BTW: Could the driver and/or his company be sued by WY Highway patrol for the police car he demolished?

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Janet, he can, and most probably will lose his job. I've seen drivers at Knight lose their jobs for seemingly minor preventable accidents. That word "preventable" is key. Thus was definitely a preventable accident. Had he obeyed the warning signs, and/or got himself shut down somewhere to wait for the high wind warnings to be lifted, thus accident would have been prevented. He had full authority to stop and stand by until the road conditions improved. He chose the high risk option of pressing on through when he was clearly too light for the conditions.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

But in this case destruction of govt property, endangering the life of an officer, reckless disregard for human life...they could really throw on some criminal charges here.

double-quotes-end.png

Could this driver also be terminated from his company for this? After all he did drive on road that officials had already closed to semi trucks due to the winds. I'm sure driver has some serious explaining to do to respecting company management. BTW: Could the driver and/or his company be sued by WY Highway patrol for the police car he demolished?

"Sued" is not what people think. Yes the company's insurance will pay for the crusier. Yes the company can make the driver pay a portion ofnthos e damages and from what I have seen, rollovers seem to be the stigma that gets you terminated. You can jacknife and not get fired but rollovers apparently really raise insurance rates thru the roof. So getting a job with a rollover on ur record ianhard cause you are considered high risk.

In the end, was it really worth it? NO. All companies (responsible legit companies) will tell you no load is worth a life. Live to drive another day.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Janet M.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

But in this case destruction of govt property, endangering the life of an officer, reckless disregard for human life...they could really throw on some criminal charges here.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Could this driver also be terminated from his company for this? After all he did drive on road that officials had already closed to semi trucks due to the winds. I'm sure driver has some serious explaining to do to respecting company management. BTW: Could the driver and/or his company be sued by WY Highway patrol for the police car he demolished?

double-quotes-end.png

"Sued" is not what people think. Yes the company's insurance will pay for the crusier. Yes the company can make the driver pay a portion ofnthos e damages and from what I have seen, rollovers seem to be the stigma that gets you terminated. You can jacknife and not get fired but rollovers apparently really raise insurance rates thru the roof. So getting a job with a rollover on ur record ianhard cause you are considered high risk.

In the end, was it really worth it? NO. All companies (responsible legit companies) will tell you no load is worth a life. Live to drive another day.

Thanks for clearing that up Rainy. Question: What is the difference between a rollover vs jacknife?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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