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Old 09-24-2007, 05:03 PM   #1
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Police: Hummer came unhitched

By Jessica Foster - The Sun News

A Conway man died in a car wreck Sunday afternoon when a Hummer came loose from the bus that was towing it and slammed head-on into another car.

The highway patrol is investigating whether there was a mechanical failure or human error that caused the Hummer to break loose from a towing mechanism on Sunday afternoon.

"No charges have been filed," said Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins.

The wreck happened at 2 p.m. on U.S. 378, about six miles west of Conway, said Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins with the S.C. Highway Patrol.

A 1963 GMC bus was traveling west on the highway, pulling the Hummer. When the Hummer came unhitched, it crossed the center line and crashed into the eastbound 1995 GMC pick-up driven by Celerino Rico Herrera.

Herrera, 38, was pronounced dead of internal injuries at 2:30 p.m., said Horry County Coroner Robert Edge Jr.

The wreck closed the highway briefly until emergency crews cleared a path, Collins said.

The driver of the GMC bus was uninjured. The patrol (SC State Troopers) is investigating the incident and will determine whether to charge him, Collins said.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At this particular part of SC 378 the road is only 2 lanes wide. I'm certain that the other driver quite possibly never saw it coming. Can you imagine what the driver of the bus must be going through given that he doesn't know his legal fate of how he's going to justify this in his own mind for the rest of his life.

In your deliberations when you are considering auxiliary brake or not, heavy duty emergency cables or not, the best hitch you can afford or not or perhaps how heavy your toad is consider if you will the alternative ..... someone may not be going home to their family.

This continues now to be a shock and was a very horrifying story the first time I heard it yesterday evening on the News. I always check and double check all my towing equipment. Going forward, I will now have the thought of this tragic accident in the back on mind given that this incident occurred so close to home and I that often travel on the 378 when we head off to I-95.
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:03 PM   #2
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Police: Hummer came unhitched

By Jessica Foster - The Sun News

A Conway man died in a car wreck Sunday afternoon when a Hummer came loose from the bus that was towing it and slammed head-on into another car.

The highway patrol is investigating whether there was a mechanical failure or human error that caused the Hummer to break loose from a towing mechanism on Sunday afternoon.

"No charges have been filed," said Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins.

The wreck happened at 2 p.m. on U.S. 378, about six miles west of Conway, said Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins with the S.C. Highway Patrol.

A 1963 GMC bus was traveling west on the highway, pulling the Hummer. When the Hummer came unhitched, it crossed the center line and crashed into the eastbound 1995 GMC pick-up driven by Celerino Rico Herrera.

Herrera, 38, was pronounced dead of internal injuries at 2:30 p.m., said Horry County Coroner Robert Edge Jr.

The wreck closed the highway briefly until emergency crews cleared a path, Collins said.

The driver of the GMC bus was uninjured. The patrol (SC State Troopers) is investigating the incident and will determine whether to charge him, Collins said.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At this particular part of SC 378 the road is only 2 lanes wide. I'm certain that the other driver quite possibly never saw it coming. Can you imagine what the driver of the bus must be going through given that he doesn't know his legal fate of how he's going to justify this in his own mind for the rest of his life.

In your deliberations when you are considering auxiliary brake or not, heavy duty emergency cables or not, the best hitch you can afford or not or perhaps how heavy your toad is consider if you will the alternative ..... someone may not be going home to their family.

This continues now to be a shock and was a very horrifying story the first time I heard it yesterday evening on the News. I always check and double check all my towing equipment. Going forward, I will now have the thought of this tragic accident in the back on mind given that this incident occurred so close to home and I that often travel on the 378 when we head off to I-95.
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:13 PM   #3
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Scary....one would have to assume he had no breakaway switch on the Hummer?? It is unfortunate that it takes tragedies like this to make all of us more thoughtful and careful!
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:19 PM   #4
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Hey Driver,

Thanks for sharing this info, maybe it will be the wake-up call some folks need!!!
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:41 PM   #5
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Wow! That wasn't far from you.

I'm leaving in the morning for MB. Will be at the Ocean Reef until Sunday.

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Old 09-25-2007, 05:37 AM   #6
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DriVer;

Thanks for the post. I think we all need to be reminded about the need for proper towing set up. I for one will take an extra look before taking off. The break-away is indeed very important.

Don
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Old 09-25-2007, 06:28 AM   #7
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I was very lucky back in 1992 when I lost the ball nut off the hitch on our van and a 2,400lb sailboat and trailer uncoupled from our van. Held only by the safety chains which I had carefully engineered and crosslaced under the tongue fo the trailer, I was able to guide everything off the highway safely and with a only a minor amount of damage to one of the van's back doors.

That experience taught me the value of:
1. Having a correctly prepared tow setup. If I had not taken the time to set up the trailer, making sure that the hitch was level and that safety chains were just the right length, I suspect my outcome would have been different.
2. Making sure of the connection. When I'm connecting my toad, I won't allow anyone to talk to me or interrupt me. I methodically follow the same steps every time because no matter how well designed the setup is, if it is not executed correctly and perfectly every time, the results can be disaster.

As tragic as this situation is, it could be a help to many if the final determination relative to the cause were known. If there is any way to get the police report information, it is certainly worth the effort in doing so.
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:03 AM   #8
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Mike, for sure this is a sobering reminder of how carefully we need to attend to our towing setups. We all read about folks who ask, "do I really need a braking system for my toad?" I've not traveled as much as many of you here but I've seen some pretty scary looking tow set ups in campgrounds.
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Old 09-25-2007, 02:33 PM   #9
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This is tragic and should be a wake up call to all.

I am designing and building my own tow bar due to my Jeeps custom front bumper. I know my hitch is rated at 10,000# but my toad will be around half that. I will be using grade 70 chain for the safety chains rather than cables and am strongly considering the Air Force One toad braking system since I have air brakes on the coach.

Be carefull everyone.
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:04 PM   #10
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I have been guilty in the past of not putting my even brake in the jeep.I guess I will reconsider this bad move. I check my tow equipment every trip,but a brake might have saved this guys life.
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:53 PM   #11
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One has to wonder what the tow rating of that 1963 bus was. I know for a fact that a Hummer H2 weighs in at around 6,000 lbs.
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Old 09-27-2007, 04:45 PM   #12
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Boy -- what a shame for the lose of life. I am starting to fix up my Focus for 4 wheel down. I have bought the Blue Ox baseplate and have now bought a Blue Ox tow bar. Instead of going for the light weight one (rated at 6,000 lbs) I have purchased the one rated at 10,000 lbs. I am also going to go with chain instead of cables for the reason mentioned above -- heavier breaking strength. I have never lost anything behind me and I have towed campers, boats, etc. Hope that I never do lose anything. I am also installing the Air Force One braking system -- everything I hear sounds good and I like the "build in" break away system which is also powered by the reserve air cylinder mounted on your tow vehicle.
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Old 09-27-2007, 07:23 PM   #13
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Several years ago I was towing a utility trailer with a Honda Elite scooter on it. Somehow the hitch came loose as I was driving. A kind motorist frantically waived at me and pointed to the trailer which was starting to veer from side to side. Fortunately the safety chains were still attached so the trailer was staying behind the motorhome. The only damage was when I stopped and the trailer bumped into the back of the motorhome and bent the shaft and crank.
I did not feel the trailer break away so I probably would not feel it if my tow car should break away. I would hope with a good tow bar and safety chains that my little toad will stay attached to my motorhome.
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Old 09-30-2007, 04:11 PM   #14
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Everytime I read a towing horror story like this it makes me think of all the vehicles being towed by people that don't care.

How many times have you seen a vehicle being towed and the tow bars are at 25-35 deg angle

George
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