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Old 05-31-2005, 09:00 AM   #1
CD
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The TV news has been showing the results of a 3/4ton PU with a 3 axle 5th wheel when the driver lost control, crossed the median and hit 4 cars about 40 mi. north of Seattle. A family of three died in one car. The 5er was on it's side W/PU hanging upside down connected by the hitch. Apparently the driver was lucky and only sustained minor injuries. There was speculation that someone cut off the 5er. It sure was a terrible way to end a weekend for a lot of people. To top it off the news reported that there were people bad mouthing the traffic control people and the investigators for having the highway closed and causing them to be delayed.
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Old 05-31-2005, 09:00 AM   #2
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The TV news has been showing the results of a 3/4ton PU with a 3 axle 5th wheel when the driver lost control, crossed the median and hit 4 cars about 40 mi. north of Seattle. A family of three died in one car. The 5er was on it's side W/PU hanging upside down connected by the hitch. Apparently the driver was lucky and only sustained minor injuries. There was speculation that someone cut off the 5er. It sure was a terrible way to end a weekend for a lot of people. To top it off the news reported that there were people bad mouthing the traffic control people and the investigators for having the highway closed and causing them to be delayed.
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Old 05-31-2005, 11:19 AM   #3
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A 3 axle fifth wheel? Must have been a pretty good sized trailer. Do you suppose that 3/4 ton pickup was overloaded?


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Old 05-31-2005, 02:07 PM   #4
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Dude better have a good lawyer and insurance....

On our way to our iRV2.com rally this weekend, we were caught in a traffic jam. Head on crash. PU truck had the front pushed back to the windshield and burst into flame on impact; the other car (the one that caused the crash) also had the front end pushed back into the dash. Folks perished in this!! They had family members back home!!! And folks were critical of how long we were held up in the traffic.... go figure...

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Old 05-31-2005, 02:23 PM   #5
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I'm presuming the driver wasn't an iRV2 member, if not it's unfortunate. We could have educated him on the hazards of towing a larger trailer with a 'too light' tow vehicle. It's a real tragedy that folks had to die when a little knowledge may have prevented it.

I wonder if an RV salesman told him his truck would "tow it just fine".
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Old 05-31-2005, 03:43 PM   #6
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I found the news article for this accident on the Seattle Times website. Here's the link:

The Seattle Times - RV Accident

The second picture in the article shows a chair and other wreckage from the RV scattered on the side of the road. Not a pleasant picture.
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Old 05-31-2005, 03:59 PM   #7
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Frank, thanks for the link.

Quote:
Troopers aren't sure what caused the man to lose control of his pickup.
There's no mention of the truck being a 3/4 ton, I'll withdraw my comments as it pertains to that.

For conjecture, it's possible the RV driver did nothing wrong, maybe one of those cheesy tires the OEM's put on our trucks failed and threw him into the other lane. Maybe he did get cut off and lost it when he swerved.

But for the grace of God, it could have been any one of us driving that rig.
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Old 05-31-2005, 04:50 PM   #8
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Richard:

I also noticed in the article that they only referred to the RV as a "travel trailer". Therefore I suspect that the reporter (or, maybe I should say the trooper as quoted by the reporter) isn't RV savvy enough to know the differences between a fifth wheel and a travel trailer... much less a 3/4 or 1 ton pickup. Therefore, I would trust CD's description of the vehicles involved.
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Old 05-31-2005, 05:32 PM   #9
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Thanks Frank. It was a F250. A trooper interviewed on TV said it was a 3/4 ton, then later I saw it on TV close enough to read the F250. The trooper said they had talked to the driver that the PU driver blamed for cutting him off. The trooper said they think it may have been a reasonable lane change then traffic slowed fast and the RV couldn't stop and lost control. The problem with that, too many people don't begin to understand the extra distance we need over a csr. The witnesses may have said there was room when maybe not. But then that is a big 5er. The trooper said it was a 30' but I looked at the pictures real close and it looks more like 30' with out the overhang. A man in the 1st. car hit was interviewed today and he said when he first saw it coming across the median the PU was jack knifed. That might explain all the damage to the rear of the PU. It must have hit a car or somethig going backwards. One of the pictures showed the 5er. on it's side with bottom facing us so got a good look at it. It deffinately had 3 axles and 6 wheels. It was also in a 70 MPH speed area coming into a 60 so that probably caused the slowing. They are now talking about cutting more of the 70.
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Old 05-31-2005, 09:24 PM   #10
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I heard about the I5 crash (we get some Seattle stations here in Victoria), actually caught most of the clip.

the coincidental part was that today, a buddy at work told me of his parents crash in Tennessee. Apparently a lady had a heart attack or something significant, crossed the centerline and hit them head on(fatal to her - some minor injuries to his parents).

2002 GMC 1 Ton and a 30 foot Okanagan fifth wheel. The interesting comparison is that the hitch ripped itself out of its mounts and was headed into the cab, but the diamond plate aluminum box stopped it. I am not sure I will look at those boxes again without thinking of that.

Made me think of the forces acting on our vehicles in sudden stops, lane changes etc. Just imagine a game of snap the whip with a 10,000 pd weight.

Also made me think about getting a steel box for the back of my truck, but I am too close on axle weights.

Always hate to see trailer accidents. Saw a fifth wheel trailer on fire on the I5 back at the end of March. Checked my LPG tanks and such at my next stop.

Just so many things that can ruin your day, or lives.
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:15 AM   #11
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I found these TV stations web-sites with clips of the accident.
http://www.king5.com/video/playlist.html
http://www.kirotv.com/index.html

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Old 06-01-2005, 03:10 PM   #12
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More TV links.
http://www.kirotv.com/traffic/4549114/detail.html
http://www.komotv.com/news/story_m.asp?ID=37120
This Kiro site goes right to the story.
The KIRO site , up in the upper right corner you can click for pictures of the scene. On the Komo site there is a good picture of the trailer & PU across the highway.
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Old 06-02-2005, 03:42 PM   #13
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As a state lawenforcement officer, it is always annoying to have people yelling and cursing at us because we close down a road due to a fatal accident. These accidents take time to properly investigate as there is always a very good chance of criminal charges being filed, not to mention the lawsuits after.

It is a shame when these accidents happen, and who knows what really went down to cause the crash. Just looking at the pictures gives us only a tiny picture into the real story. I tow a large fiver also and I cant stress enough the importance of driving slower. Whether TV and trailer are properly matched or not, it still takes a lot longer to stop and you really have to anticipate what the other guys may do.

Even when we as Rv'rs have done our homework and we have everything right, sometimes things just happen. None of us can account for the idiots zipping through traffic without regard for anyone else. All we can do is try and be safe and hope our guarian angels are not mad at us.
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Old 06-03-2005, 07:03 AM   #14
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In my forty five years as a claims man it never failed to impress me that the worst horrific accidents I investigated usually involved "crossovers" on divided highways. I'm so relieved to see many many jurisdictions including my home Province of Ontario eliminating the grass dividers in favor of rigid barriers engineered to prevent cross overs.

As to opining on what took place from news reports, that is ludicrous, way too many variables that impact on events, so much so that I have often seen great variations in the conclusions of as many a four different qualified engineer reconstructionists investigating the same accident on behalf of different parties involved. So please, avoid knee jerk conclusions from the barest of facts.

This is a deplorable situation with grievious impact on all involved, let's not add to it with conjectures. I totally support Baddwalk's comments.

Bob
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