truckA freak accident in Central Illinois shows that truck accidents, especially truck accidents, are seldom as straightforward as they seem. A dump truck was a total loss after it burned in a freak accident. The driver, who jumped from the truck, was not injured.
The truck, which was carrying sand, apparently hit some high-voltage power lines near the Illinois American Water Co.’s water tower. When the fire department responded to a call, they found the tractor part of the truck in flames. The driver said that he heard his tires pop before he jumped from the cab. He reported that he saw sparks under the front wheels.
Assistant chief Rick Bowman, of the Pekin Fire Department, said that even though the truck driver did not believe he touched the power lines, scorch marks on the ground where the fire had not burned suggest otherwise.
Because of the height of many rigs, such as semi trucks and dump trucks, accidents involving power lines are not as unusual as you might think. But such incidents are uncommon, and many truck drivers do not know what to do if they are involved in an accident with power lines. For example, in 2006 three Ontario dump trucks came in contact with power lines. The drivers were killed because they got out of the truck to see what had happened. Had they remained inside, they would not have died.
A semi truck in West Virginia became entangled in power lines, bringing them down onto a child-care center playground. The children were evacuated and suffered no injuries, but the condition of the truck driver is unknown.
A recent pickup truck accident in New Hampshire caused a utility pole to fall, scattering wires across the road. The driver was injured, although not critically. The cause of the accident remains under investigation, and the road was closed while authorities removed the downed power lines.
The moral of the story appears to be that truck drivers should be aware of power lines in their vicinity and remain inside their rigs if they accidentally come in contact with electrical wires.