Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Truck loses boat at busy NN intersection: No one was injured when the boat hit three cars stopped at Jefferson Avenue and Oyster Point Road

Truck loses boat at busy NN intersection: No one was injured when the boat hit three cars stopped at Jefferson Avenue and Oyster Point Road.

Byline: Jennifer Latson

Nov. 28--NEWPORT NEWS -- A boat came loose from a trailer and collided with three cars at a busy Newport News intersection late Monday night. No one was injured.

A pickup truck pulling a white 19-foot motorboat was crossing Jefferson Avenue on Oyster Point Road, heading west, when the trailer came unhinged and sent the boat sailing into a line of facing cars waiting to turn left onto Jefferson.

The accident happened just before 9 p.m. and snarled traffic at the crossing of Newport News' most dangerous intersection.

The boat hit the side of an unmarked Virginia State Police car, then bounced on top of Tom Sobkowicz's car, shattering the rear windshield and showering glass into the back seat, where Sobkowicz's 5-year-old son was sleeping.

"It just popped off and came toward us," said Sobkowicz, who lives in Newport News. His son was unharmed.

Selena Stellute Glenn, 29, of Williamsburg, was waiting at the light to turn toward her home when she saw the boat bouncing toward her. It came to rest on the hood of her Ford Expedition, its bow just inches from the windshield.

"It was like slow motion," Glenn said. "It was unbelievable."

Virginia State Police were investigating the crash because a state police car was involved.

A state trooper declined to comment on the accident.

Witnesses said the driver pulling the boat was not speeding or driving erratically. He had just bought the new boat and was bringing it home, he said.

Copyright (c) 2006, Daily Press, Newport News, Va.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business

Beaufort crash kills one.. Loose Trailer

Beaufort crash kills one.

Byline: Jannette Pippin

Jun. 9--BEAUFORT -- A Carteret County woman was killed and two of her family members injured Thursday after a utility trailer carrying lumber came loose and struck their vehicle. Lilly Lawrence Nelson, 70, of the Gloucester community, died at the scene of the fatal collision that occurred on U.S. 70 near East Carteret High School in Beaufort, said Trooper Marvin Shadday of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Nelson was the front passenger in a car driven by her daughter, Lori Lawrence Merkley, 35, also of Gloucester. Her granddaughter, 13-year-old Raina Merkley, was a passenger in the right back seat.

Lori Merkley was transported to Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City for treatment of injuries, and Raina Merkley was flown by East Care to Pitt County Memorial in Greenville, where she was in stable condition, Shadday said.

The family was traveling in a 2005 Suzuki west on U.S. 70 when a utility trailer being towed by a pick-up truck traveling in the opposite direction separated from the truck and crossed the center line of the highway, Shadday said.

The utility trailer, which was carrying a load of lumber, struck the car head on. The lumber was thrown onto the car and several pieces went through the windshield, Shadday said. The worst of the impact was on the passenger side of the vehicle where Nelson was sitting, he said. Also injured in the collision was Alene Price Gillikin, 64, of Marshallberg. Gillikin was traveling behind Merkley in a 1997 station wagon and struck the rear end of the car. She was transported to Carteret General Hospital, the Highway Patrol said. The pickup truck, driven by Jordan Erik Swicegood, 26, of Beaufort, was not hit. The investigation of the collision and how the trailer became separated is ongoing and no charges had been filed Thursday, Shadday said. Contact staff writer Jannette Pippin at or by calling (252) 808-2275.

Copyright (c) 2006, The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C.

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business


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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Horses injured slightly in wreck Trailer flips on I-25 ramp

Horses injured slightly in wreck Trailer flips on I-25 ramp

Passers-by, an off-duty SWAT officer and a veterinarian aided police and firefighters in helping horses riding in a trailer that rolled on a highway exit ramp Monday.

The crash happened about 6:45 p.m. on the Rockrimmon Boulevard exit ramp off southbound Interstate 25. Darla Brammeier, 38, was driving a Chevrolet Suburban and towing a trailer with five horses.

"She was driving too fast to make the turn, the trailer separated from the Suburban and flipped over," said Sgt. Dick Reisler of the Colorado Springs police.

Four horses got loose, and one was briefly trapped before being freed by Colorado Springs firefighters.

None of the horses was badly hurt.

Motorists pulled over and led the shaken horses to a grassy area near an office building northwest of the freeway to graze and calm down, Reisler said.

"Imagine the mess if those horses had made it out to the interstate," Reisler said. "We're grateful to those people. The horses were spooked and shook up."

Police called in off-duty officer Robin McPike, a SWAT officer who is also a horseman, to help with the rescue. He called Jim Mahan of Academy Riding Stables and Richard Marciniak of Black Forest to bring trailers and find boarding for the horses.

Veterinarian Lise Andersen, of the Rocky Mountain Equine Clinic in Monument, volunteered to examine the horses.

"There were no vital injuries," Andersen said. "The horses did very well."

She treated one horse for a cut above its eye and gave them tetanus shots. Two of the horses are yearlings, one is a mare with a young colt, and the fifth is a stallion about 4 years old.

"They were just nicks and scratch- es," Andersen said. "It could have been horribly worse."

Reisler said the trailer may have been too small for five horses, but that probably helped prevent worse injuries.

Brammeier, of northern Colorado, told officers she was on her way to Arizona.

She was cited for allegedly driving without a valid license or insurance and careless driving.


Runaway trailer hits pickup, kills driver

Runaway trailer hits pickup, kills driver.(Accidents)

Byline: The Register-Guard

ROSEBURG - An off-duty Douglas County sheriff's deputy was killed Wednesday night on Highway 42 when his pickup was struck by a trailer that had come loose from the vehicle towing it.

Dallas Wesley Butler, 43, of Roseburg was pronounced dead at the scene of the 7:15 p.m. crash west of Camas Valley. Butler's pickup was headed east on the highway when a loaded chip trailer towed by a westbound Freightliner truck detached and crashed into the pickup, Oregon State Police investigators said.

Butler's two sons, ages 12 and 10, were hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening, police said. Butler had been an employee of the sheriff's department since 1999.

The crash remains under investigation. No citations have been issued, police said.

Suit claims negligence caused father's death in trailer-SUV crash

Suit claims negligence caused father's death in trailer-SUV crash

The accident is one of the worst Todd Hilton has seen during his legal career.

A runaway flatbed trailer that had become separated from the truck that was pulling it sliced through Charles Lewis' Ford Explorer on U.S. Highway 50, causing his horrific death and leaving a path of destruction.

"This was about as bad as an entangled mess that I have seen," Hilton said "And that includes doing railroad litigation."

Now Lewis' two daughters, Robin Dayton and Dana Hughes, are suing the vehicle's driver and his employer, claiming their negligence caused their father's death on Jan. 4. Patrick Stueve and Hilton, both of Stueve Siegel Hanson Woody, are representing Dayton and Hughes in their lawsuit, which was filed earlier this month and seeks unspecified damages.

"We believe the evidence will show that Mr. Lewis' death would not have occurred if defendants had followed any of the industry safety standards governing the safe and proper use of commercial trailers," Stueve said.

According to the accident report by the Lee's Summit Police Department, the 59-year-old Lewis was in the left lane on eastbound Highway 50 near Chipman Road. In the right westbound lane, Steven Berryman, an employee of Door Systems in Lee's Summit, was pulling the trailer when it separated from the 2001 GMC Sierra pickup and entered the grass median.

The empty trailer continued through the median, which did not have a protective barrier, and entered the eastbound lanes, according to the accident report.

Hilton said the trailer carried most of its weight in the rear, which caused its tongue in the front to rise up. It struck Lewis' 1999 Ford Explorer near the side-view mirror on the driver's side.

The trailer ripped through the vehicle, decapitated Lewis, who was not wearing his seat belt, and left his body in the back seat, according to the accident report. After striking a semi traveling next to Lewis, the trailer was projected back across the westbound lanes and came to a rest.

Hilton said the trailer, which was homemade, was not properly attached to the truck driven by Berryman.

"There were numerous problems," he said. "It was not staying on the truck for very long because the receiver was too large for the ball it was attached to."

An investigation by the Lee's Summit Police Department reported that the trailer hitch was made for a 2 5/16 inch ball, but the Door Systems' truck had a 2-inch ball.

Additionally, the report includes that the locking mechanism on the hitch was partially missing, and there were no signs of a cable connecting the emergency electric brake.

Jim Foland, who represents Door Systems and Berryman, said he was in the process of reviewing evidence and getting experts to reconstruct the accident. The defendants, who also include Door Systems owners and the trailer's manufacturers and owners, have until early December to file an answer.

Foland, of Foland, Wickens, Eisfelder, Roper & Hofer, called the accident a tragedy and said he had been talking to the plaintiffs in hopes of reaching a possible settlement.

"It's amazing how bizarre these (accidents) can be," Foland said. "The trailer just simply came off and went across the median. It was a classic wrong place, wrong time for the descendent."

The plaintiffs have already hired Richard H. Klein as an expert witness. Klein, of Johnson, N.Y., is experienced in trailer design and a leading engineering consultant for U-Haul, according to Hilton.

"This is a guy, who obviously when folks that are dealing with trailers in the country, when they want to know what's going on, this is who they turn to," Hilton said.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Runaway Trailer Hits Motorcycle

Published Thursday, July 6, 2006
Runaway Trailer Hits Motorcycle

Two people escaped with only minor injuries when the motorcycle on which they were riding was hit by a runaway trailer.

According to Lake Wales police reports, Robert Kilgore, 47, of 228 Chauser Lane, Winter Haven, was riding his motorcycle south on Scenic Highway near Burns Avenue about 5 p.m. Tuesday when a trailer became dislodged from a northbound vehicle driven by Jerrell McKinley Wilson, 18, of 2206 Karen St., Lake Wales.

The trailer struck the motorcycle, knocking it over.

Kilgore and passenger, Sandra Kilgore, suffered scrapes and bruises, but were not seriously injured, police said.

Police said a safety chain for the trailer was not attached.

Charges are pending.

A Caltrans worker Hit By A Loose Trailer

- A Caltrans worker was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident in San Jose on Saturday afternoon.

A trailer on the back of a landscaping truck broke loose on Eastbound 237 near First Street. The trailer went down the embankment and hit the Caltrans worker.

The worker was sent to the hospital with major injuries, including a broken leg.

The CHP is looking for the driver of the truck, which did not stop after the accident.