Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Man killed in I-25 rollover near Pueblo

Man killed in I-25 rollover near Pueblo
By Kirk Mitchell
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 02/13/2008 10:19:16 AM MST

Highway workers respond to an accident Tuesday afternoon. (Courtesy Denver Post reader)

A man was killed when his Grand Cherokee that was towing a trailer rolled on southbound Interstate—25 yesterday afternoon, authorities say.

The identity of the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, has not been confirmed, said Trooper Ryan Sullivan, a spokesman for the Colorado State Patrol.

The victim, who was driving south about 11 miles north of Pueblo at 12:20 p.m., first drove off the right side of the highway. He turned back onto the highway, overcorrected and his SUV and trailer began to rotate, Sullivan said.

Both the SUV and the trailer rolled onto the median on the left side of the highway.

Patrol officers continue to investigate the crash. No other vehicles were involved, Sullivan said.

Monday, February 18, 2008

the trailer fishtailed. Losing control of the trailer, caused Padilla to lose control of his truck, which jack-knifed into the path of a semi-truck th


Lakewood man killed in crash on icy I-25
Pamela Dickman

A 36-year-old Lakewood man was killed Saturday when his truck slid into the path of a semi-truck, off the icy Interstate 25 near Berthoud and into the median, where it was pinned underneath the semi.

Two adults and three teens were in his Dodge pickup, headed to the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland for a state band competition.

They were 13 miles away when they crashed, closing the northbound interstate for about six hours.

Andy Padilla, the driver, was pronounced dead at the scene, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Gilbert Mares said.

All four passengers were taken to Medical Center of the Rockies after they were freed from the Dodge pickup, which was crushed underneath the semi.

Jaqueline Alba-Torres, 15, was airlifted to the hospital, where she remained in good condition Saturday afternoon.

Christina Lucero, 36, Jason Lucero, 16, and Douglas Ruiz, 16, were taken by ambulance, treated and released.

Padilla was driving north in his Dodge pickup, pulling a utility trailer that reportedly contained band equipment for the Alameda High School students.

At 6:22 a.m., eight minutes before the teens could begin checking in for the Rocky Mountain Percussion Championships, the trailer fishtailed.

Losing control of the trailer, caused Padilla to lose control of his truck, which jack-knifed into the path of a semi-truck that was northbound in the parallel lane, Mares said.

When the semi hit the Dodge, the pickup rolled onto its top in the median.

The semi then careened into the median and over the pickup, stopping on top of it and trapping the five inside, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

All five were wearing their seatbelts.

The driver of the semi-truck, 54-year-old Don Brashears of Loveland, was not injured.

The crash closed the northbound lanes of the interstate at the Berthoud exit until noon during the rescue and aftermath. Traffic was rerouted onto the Frontage Road.

Investigators are still piecing together what happened, but weather appears to be a factor.

Mares said troopers believe Padilla was driving too fast for the icy roads, the result of a spring storm that dropped just enough snow to ice the roads.

Meanwhile, 72-year-old Jerry Hankins of Longmont was reported to be in critical condition at Loveland’s Medical Center of the Rockies on Saturday night after being taken there for treatment of serious bodily injuries he suffered in a single-vehicle rollover accident south of Longmont.

Hankins, a backseat passenger in a 1994 Ford Explorer, was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from that sports utility vehicle while it was rolling over after the driver lost control on an icy bridge on Colo. Highway 119 near Airport Road at about 9 a.m. Saturday, the CSP’s Mares said.

The SUV’s driver, 46-year-old Elaina Johnson of Longmont, was treated for injuries at Longmont United Hospital and released. Another passenger — Marty Hankins, 38, also of Longmont — declined medical attention, Mares said.

According to the CSP’s accident report, Mares said, Johnson was northbound on Colo. 119 when she lost control on the bridge, with the vehicle dropping off the right side of the roadway and rolling twice before coming to rest on its wheels. Jerry Hankins reportedly was ejected during the second roll.

Several other crashes also occurred Saturday morning in Larimer, Weld and Boulder counties, authorities in those areas said.

“It was really, really dangerous,” Loveland Police Sgt. Bob Shaffer said. “It was like a sheet of ice.”

A Longmont police dispatcher said Saturday afternoon that as many as four accidents happened inside the city on icy bridges that morning, but that there were no serious injuries reported in those crashes.

On Saturday night, a Colorado State Patrol dispatcher said motorists and officers were “getting hammered” by highway crashes on icy roads in Weld County — particularly on Interstate 76 and nearby roads — and in Arapahoe and Douglas counties.

Boulder County highways, however, appeared to be relatively calm insofar as Saturday night reports of road conditions and accidents, the CSP dispatcher said.

Times-Call reporter John Fryar contributed to this report.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The dangers associated with towing trailers

Dorothy Barnett v. Sunnybrook, et al

The dangers associated with towing trailers are generally not fully appreciated by consumers. Also, adequate information about the appropriate steps to take to control a trailer once it begins to sway due to a passing semi-tractor trailer or wind gusts is not provided.

As a result, each year numerous needless deaths and injuries occur. On November 24, 2002, Dr. John Barnett was killed after his 31 foot long Sunnybrook Travel Trailer began to sway after being passed by a tractor trailer.

It was alleged that insufficient information was provided to the Barnett family about trailer sway, and that they were not told the appropriate responses to sway to prevent a loss of control situation. It was also alleged that the vehicle-trailer-hitch combination was defective in that it did not prevent or minimize the potential for trailer sway in the first place.

The case settled for a confidential amount.
Trailer Sway

Every year on American highways preventable accidents occur involving travel trailers of various lengths and configurations. The phenomenon commonly referred to as “trailer sway” occurs when a trailer being towed by a car, truck or van begins to sway or swing back and forth as it is being pulled. Often this side-to-side oscillation of the trailer occurs due to air disturbances caused by passing tractor trailers or wind gusts.

When sway occurs there are a number of things consumers can do to regain control of the swaying trailer. This information is critical for consumers to have, but, unfortunately, the industry and dealerships often do not adequately warn of the risks of trailer sway or provide instructions on how to properly respond.

The industry and dealerships often do not adequately warn of the risks of trailer sway or provide instructions on how to properly respond

In fact, it is generally recognized by experts in this area that consumers often do things in the way of steering and braking that have the unintended consequence of actually making sway worse once it starts. Because of this proper instructions and warnings are needed. If they are not provided and an accident happens, a claim may exist against the trailer manufacture, the hitch manufacturer and the dealership.

The fact is that the dangers of trailer sway have been known within the trailer industry for decades. While only so much can be done when designing a trailer to minimize its propensity to sway, technologies and alternative designs do exist that can have a dramatic effect on reducing the propensity of a trailer to sway uncontrollably. Often times, however, it is discovered after a trailer sway accident that these simple alternatives where not used or even considered.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The trailer began to sway going

You can link directly to the sheriff's website by clicking here www.boonecountysheriffsoffice.com

Monday, Sept. 24

8:00 a.m.: A single-vehicle accident occurred at L Avenue and Hwy. 30. Stephen Grell, 32, Fort Dodge, was eastbound on Hwy. 30 pulling a two-axle, loaded trailer. The trailer began to sway going down the hill and rolled into the southeast ditch. Driver was not injured, but passenger, Brandon Feeley, 26, Fort Dodge, was taken by ambulance to Boone County Hospital for treatment. Damage was estimated at $9,500 to a 2001 Ford F250 and $200 to a state DOT sign and post.

York College President speaks on the loss of a student

York College President speaks on the loss of a student

(1/20/2008) By Ginger ten Bensel A central Nebraska College is in mourning this weekend as they deal with the loss of one of their own. Brock Pigorsch was killed Friday on his way to a wrestling tournament in Iowa.

The wrestling team's van was pulling a trailer down I–29 about an hour north of Omaha when a car in front of them slammed on its breaks to avoid a pedestrian.

The driver of the van made his way around the hazard but the trailer began to sway causing the van to roll several times. Brock was thrown out of the van and died on the way to the hospital.

The moment it was known that 21 year old Brock Pigorsch had died in a car accident, teachers, students, staff, and the schools crisis team began to gather at the Prayer Chapel.

“It just hurts so badly and we grieve all of us. Even though we go about our business everyday and go through the motions of what we have to do everyday it is always on our minds and hearts,” said York College President, Dr. Wayne Baker.

The President of the College and several others rushed to the Hospital in Sioux City Iowa were the rest of the team; nine wrestlers and two coaches were treated and released.

“The wrestling team met with facility and councilors for prayer and general comfort on Saturday afternoon,” said Dr. Baker.

Brock was an experienced wrestler working to be a national qualifier and during the prayer vigil at the prayer chapel many people spoke about Brock and how he touched other people’s lives.

“What I heard over and over again was how Brock came into the room smiling; he always seemed to light up the people around him,” said Vice Pres. Finance & Admin., Todd Sheldon.

There will be a memorial service for Brock during the college's chapel service on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the East Hill Church of Christ in York.

The funeral arrangements are still being made, but the funeral will be in Brock's home town in Herington Kansas