Ed Kennell

Truck Drivers Beware

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ID: 1   Posted (edited)

Edited by Ed Kennell
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ID: 2   Posted

This runaway truck  demolished this church located three houses below the home where I was born.  The town sits at the bottom of Savage Mountain in Southern Somerset Co. Pa. and is subject to many runaway trucks.

My Grandad lived two houses above the church and his garage was demolished in the early '60s. The Sturtz family lived beside the church in a two story home.  A runaway milk tanker went completely through their home and was stopped by this same church.    MR and MRS Sturtz were sleeping on the second floor at the time and they were not injured.  They replaced their home with a one story modular home  and within a year, shortly after they left to go shopping, this home was demolished by another runaway loaded with shelled corn.  They never built a home on this site again.  

It is difficult to believe , but the reports are this driver only suffered a broken thumb.    No one was in the church.

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ID: 3   Posted

Amazing that there were no serious injuries, certainly feel sorry for the congregation of the Church. We have a few "break failure" truck collisions each month in the mountains here. The breaks worked fine, they were just used too late and gravity wins every time!

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ID: 4   Posted

Ed, would you believe that Cumberland MD used to be some of stomping grounds, used to go to Lakemont Park by way of there, got an uncle in Oakland/Deer Park and my mother was originally from Keyser WV,  so I have been through there at least once if not more on my journeys north, Jeff.

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ID: 5   Posted

Tis a small world Jeff.   My Mother still  lives in Cumberland today.  After high school, I started my college studies at the WVU local campus in Keyser WVa.   While still living in Wellersburg, Pa, at the time, I commuted thru Cumberland, Md. to Keyser, WVa. every day ....about 20 mile.

When I was about 10 years old, we  built a new stone home about half way up the mountain  above  Wellersburg  where I experienced many runaway truck accidents. Our house was right at the drivers decision point ....ditch the truck or try to ride it out to the bottom.    The experienced ones bailed out and ditched the truck into the woods.

One of the more memorable ones involved a Heinz Food truck from Pittsburg.    My dad was a scavenger and we had a pantry full of all 57 varieties of mustard, ketchup, and pickle relish that lasted for years.  :popcorn:

 

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ID: 6   Posted (edited)

Years ago a truck driver fell asleep and went off the road and went thru an Amish house. In one side and out the other. Left a big hole but the walls and roof stayed up. About 10 years after that an Amish fellow came into the Napa store I was working at. He paid with a check and I read the check. The address was about the same location of that house. I asked him about it and he says, " That was my house. I was sleeping on my couch and awoke to a tractor trailer going thru my living room! " :)

Edited by squonk
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ID: 7   Posted

Thanks for posting that Ed. Being a driver. I can definitely attest to the runaway issue. Believe me, there isn't a good driver out there that doesn't think of that scenario. It doesn't always have to involve a mountain road either. Ice, snow or wet roads can and do create an "out of control" truck. I am sorry for the congregations loss. But grateful that only minor injuries were sustained. Always give trucks plenty of room. Don't adopt that " I gotta get in front of that truck" attitude. We leave that 4 or 5 car cushion in traffic for a reason, so we can stop 80,000 pounds before we crush something........ If you have to dive in that stopping area? Just to get in front of that truck? You could be under it.    Put the phone down and drive.......

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ID: 8   Posted

What is curious to me is how they select an area for a runaway truck ramp. I drive I-68 west to Deep Creek Lake (Maryland) every couple of weeks. There is only one runaway truck ramp along the way, and it is at Sideling Hill (elevation 2300 ft). So if a trucker loses his brakes while driving west on I-68, does he have to wait until he crosses the mountain at Sideling to use a runaway ramp? :hide:

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ID: 9   Posted

2 hours ago, rmaynard said:

What is curious to me is how they select an area for a runaway truck ramp. I drive I-68 west to Deep Creek Lake (Maryland) every couple of weeks. There is only one runaway truck ramp along the way, and it is at Sideling Hill (elevation 2300 ft). So if a trucker loses his brakes while driving west on I-68, does he have to wait until he crosses the mountain at Sideling to use a runaway ramp? :hide:

I would agree with this question. What I do know is, Most ramps are on an 8 percent or greater slope. It also depends on length of descent. I have been in many places in this great country that I thought could use runouts. Sometimes there just isn't anywhere to put them due to terrain or City or County ordinances. I can guarantee that if some of these folks ever needed one? They would be everywhere. Unfortunately, it takes several incidences to catch the attention of these entities. But, with all of the newer equipment and tremendous strides in braking ability ie; engine and transmission braking, along with disc brakes and ABS systems? Trucks are much better than they were. That may be the very problem. There may be a false sense of security that these new upgrades will solve the problem. But these systems are relatively new to the industry and are still experiencing operational troubles. Since I have come off the road and am a local only driver now? I can see that Class 8 vocational trucks like Concrete Mixers, Dump Trucks, Milk trucks and the like are finally starting to get some of the upgrades that alot of the road trucks have. When the systems work? They work well. However, they still cannot defy gravity. Though I am not familiar with the area that this accident occured in? Perhaps the local entities there may take a look at the info. about past incidents in this area and take the appropriate actions. 

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