Let's be careful out there!

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by beemerboy, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. beemerboy

    beemerboy New Member

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    Click here for the full story

    At approximately 6:40 a.m. on August 1, 2009, an elderly couple with a stationary Dodge pickup pulling a camper northbound on Interstate 395 before exit 1 in Mass. were killed as they were attempting to change a flat tire on their camper in the breakdown lane.

    The 21 year old driver of the car that hit the camper and the two people flipped over onto it's roof had to be extricated from his vehicle and was transported to UMASS Memorial Hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the car faces charges of two counts of negligent motor vehicle homicide and single counts of negligent operation and marked lanes violation.

    Side note: this couple had been full timing for several years. Current address was from Texas with relatives in Mass.

    Please don't let this happen to you! I carry four traffic cones in the back of my car at all times in case I have to stop on the side of the road for any reason.

    If you have a breakdown or need to change a flat tire on the interstate highway call for the state police or highway patrol to provide cover while you are working on your vehicle. It may take a while for them to get there, but, at least you will be able to live.
     
  2. Daduv3Boys

    Daduv3Boys American by birth, Southern by the Grace of God!

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    That's an awful story. I will definitely be more careful when I am on the side of the road from now on.
     
  3. hvac1877

    hvac1877 Old Dominion Iron Chefs Highland Springs, Va

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    Will pray for the family for there loss. That is bad news. I hate being on the side of the road. Done a few tires and boy it scares me with them flying by.
     
  4. mellowyellow

    mellowyellow New Member

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    Carrying cones never even occurred to me. What a great idea! A couple of years ago, we had a flat tire, and were stuck on the side of a busy highway. Cars and large trucks were whizzing by us at high speeds, and I was afaid someone would lose control and plow into us. Then, out of the blue came an angel - a tow truck driver saw us stranded on the side of the road, and pulled up behind us with his lights on. Traffic immediately shifted into the left lane, and we were able to change our tire safely. He didn't want any money for his trouble, but we insisted. After all, he may have saved our lives!
     
  5. NW_Dale

    NW_Dale Member

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    Way too many stories like this out there. It hasn't happened to me (yet) but I think I'd be tempted to slowly keep going until I could get off the highway. Tires and wheels are cheap compared to this sort of loss.
     
  6. beemerboy

    beemerboy New Member

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    My primary reason for carrying cones is that I am a volunteer fire fighter and my primary job at a call is traffic control, I've been doing this for over thirty years.

    After several close calls I came to the conclusion that most people when they are driving on an interstate is that they are either drunk, asleep, stupid or all three.

    If you are able to afford them and packing space is an issue, there are collapsible cones available or you can do what most people do and "find them on the side of the road".

    I don't give much stock for those little reflective triangles that truckers use. Yes, they are visible but a lot of people will drive over them without a care in the world while they may tend to avoid a larger cone.

    WalMart has reflective vests for sale at a reasonable price. They are bright yellow and are ANSI class III approved for highway use. I recommend you get a couple to keep in your vehicle. These are like the ones the stores employees wear when collecting carriages in the parking lot.

    If you have to get out of your vehicle at least try to make yourself as visible as possible.

    On the other hand ... all bets are off at night.
     
  7. chiefbowes

    chiefbowes Member

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    In most cases the tire is junk. I the tire is ditch side its not to bad. But if is roadside as a former tire repairman i always tried to get people to limp to the next exit. A new rim might be the cost but not a life. get off the exit then back on the on ramp this is the area of slowest traffic and generally the safest
     
  8. screwballl

    screwballl Stimulus Package

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    here is a local story, no one died and it did not involve a flat... but we saw the aftermath and it looked gruesome... a full size Suburban torn up and rolled multiple times and the large pull behind camper was in shreds from the rolling and everything.

    http://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/runs-16460-deer-accident.html

    Luckily everyone was ok and walked away with just scratches.
     
  9. hzrdous

    hzrdous New Member

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    Great, important topic!!! This is such a sad story, and sadly too common. Having dealt with many traffic accidents over the years, I echo the advice about traffic cones and safety vests. I always have mine. Road flares are good, but they are less visible in the daylight and can burn out very quickly if it's windy. The high profile of a cone is far more visible and won't pose a danger to you if there should happen to be fuel on the road. If you're out there and don't have cones, get creative. Many of us have those safety orange or yellow wedge wheel chocks for the PUP; you can stand them on end and use them like cones if you have to. We tend to drive in the direction we are looking, so it's very common for rubberneckers to crash right into what they're trying to view. Always keep this in mind. You can be the most visible thing on the planet and someone will still hit you. If you have to be on the side of the road, always be thinking about where you're going to go WHEN a vehicle is about to hit you - not if - and stay aware of your surroundings. Anyone who's not involved directly in the repair should be away from the side of the road. Emergency lights on tow trucks and police and fire vehicles often attract people like moths to the flame. Never stand between your vehicle and the emergency vehicle. In my line of work we call that the "hamburger zone". Of course, one of the best things you can do is always make sure your equipment is in good working order, even if you have not used it in awhile. This goes for prevention and emergencies. Did you check the tire pressure before you left? Did you check the oil? When was the last time you checked the air pressure in your spare tire or made sure the jack isn't rusted? Do you know where the jack and the tire iron are? Keeping equipment in good working order will get you back on the road and back out of harm's way alot faster.
     
  10. jwolfe01

    jwolfe01 Honeoye, NY

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    I have hit deer before when towing. Unless it is a person in the road, I am NOT slamming my brakes on while towing for just this reason. A new grille or headlight or hood, etc is worth alot less than my life or others around me. In fact, I generally do not slam my brakes on all that hard when deer jump out even when Im not towing as I will not risk losing control and going into on coming traffic or a tree on the side of the road. At least once or twice a year around here you read or hear about someone swerving to avoid a deer and killing themselves or others. You should NEVER swerve to avoid an animal in the road.
     
  11. Rustyk

    Rustyk New Member

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    I am a do it myself person most of the time but if the interstae is that busy just cal AAA we all have it so use it.
     
  12. hzrdous

    hzrdous New Member

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    I would say this is a good idea in some cases, but not all. Having seen on multiple occasions what a bull elk or moose can do to a vehicle and its occupants, even at speeds as low as 45 mph, I would prefer to avoid those animals. They can cause serious injury or death quite easily.
     
  13. mikenews

    mikenews New Member

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    Always check your tire pressure, condition, and don't skimp and buy underrated cheap tires!. Things like this can happen in an instant! Terrible stories....
     
  14. beemerboy

    beemerboy New Member

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    I know this topic is over a year old. I'm resurrecting this topic because the driver that caused the accident in my first post has finally been sentenced.

    As you recall, he crashed into a camper that had a flat tire in the breakdown lane killing an elderly couple.

    Mr. Wahome told police he was returning from a late-night concert in New Jersey and was headed home, taking two rest stops on the way. State Trooper John DeNapoli concluded Mr. Wahome’s “fatigue and inattention” contributed to the crash.

    The driver, a minister's son, was sentenced to 60 days (yes, sixty) in jail, 300 hours of community service and loss of his drivers license for fifteen years.

    http://www.telegram.com/article/20100626/NEWS/6260360

    Let's be careful out there.
     
  15. nhcaveman

    nhcaveman Barrington, NH

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    That's just wrong.
     
  16. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Active Member

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    You know the cost of a tire alone is often more than a tire/wheel combination. I went to buy a new spare this spring (tires on the PUP were replaced 700 miles and 2 yrs ago) The salesman quoted me $45 for the tire alone but had the same tire mounted on a new rim on sale for $39.99. They didn't have to do anything so I didn't have to pay shop labor rate for them to mount my tire. My point is screw the rim limp down the shoulder to the next exit and then to a truck stop or other parking lot.A traveler last year was killed while changing a tire at the stop sign a the end of the exit...350' away from a truck stop parking lot.
     
  17. denibop03

    denibop03 New Member

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    OK I am going to comment on this post because I see both sides of the coin. I work in the correctional field. I am a federal Correctional Officer. But 21 years ago I was an 18 year old security guard working for a hospital. I had just graduated high school. I was coming home from my sisters house and I caused a wreck. I was not tired or sleepy nor was i intoxicated. I was following behind a van on an old country road that was two lanes. I waited til I came to a area that was flat and had a dotted line for passing. I did not peak around the van i just pulled out around the van and hit another car head on. The lady that was in that car died instantly. I had minor injuries. If I had peaked around the van i would have seen her. I was charged with failure to yield and paid a fine. My mom and dad and I sat down and I decided i wanted to attend her wake. Her family received me with open arms. her sons and her sister all told me that it was OK that they knew it was an accident. Sure i could have been charged like this individual but I was not. They told me all about her and her life. They treated me as if i was a part of their family. I have to live every day of my life knowing I contributed to the death of another living soul. Even after 21 years I still have allot of guilt. This young man made a mistake. Sure he should of pulled over and rested. I do not condone his actions but i can empathize with him. The punishment might seem unreasonable to some. But we are not in his shoes. I have been there and am still paying for what happened. He too will think of that morning for the rest of his life. Be safe and always know that we are not promised tomorrow.
     
  18. 3pillons

    3pillons Press hard, Five copies.

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    That punishment sounds light to some and extreme to others. I see it all the time. While there has been a loss of life and all of the heartache that goes with it, the action that caused it is only a minor traffic violation. The same violation that under different circumstances could result in minor or no damage to either vehicle or person involved.

    Traffic violations do not require there to be intent for a conviction, unlike a property or persons crime. The actual violation of failing to maintain a lane is a minor offense which in this case had tragic results. It is still an automobile "accident" and most persons involved in them receive little to no punishment.

    They can still be held liable in civil proceedings, but not much comes of the criminal investigation.
     
  19. AssateagueBaby

    AssateagueBaby New Member

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    denibop03, that's a heavy weight to carry. I'm sorry that it happened. Thanks for sharing your life altering experience.
     
  20. denibop03

    denibop03 New Member

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    If what i typed can help one person i have done what i intended to do. I have come a long way from back in 89. I Owe it to God and a strong family life. I have been blessed.
     

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