Two Killed in U.S. 40 Semi Truck Crash Near Hugo
Two truck drivers and cattle were killed on October 21 in a deadly chain-reaction collision. One tractor-trailer veered into traffic with no warning, crashing into three other semis that were driving in a row.
Sixty-year-old Duane Olson and 30-year old Clint Torres, truck drivers from the Mansfield, Texas, area, were pronounced dead by first responders at the crash site, which happened east of Hugo on US 40.
Twenty-nine-year-old driver Joshua Ramirez of Dodge City, Kansas, was sent to the hospital with minor injuries, while 43-year-old Miami truck driver Jorge Moya escaped without injury. Both of their trucks were heavily damaged.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, three trucks were heading east on US 40, coming toward Olson’s semi.
Olson, who was heading west, swerved into the eastbound lane, sideswiped the trucks driven by Moya and Ramirez, and then hit Torres’ truck head-on. The cause of the accident is not known at this time because investigators aren’t sure why Olson moved into the other lane.
Truck accidents on the rise
Unfortunately, fatal truck accidents are on the rise all across the nation, and Colorado is no exception. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to a big rig accident, such as driver fatigue and error, but CBS News also recently reported that speeding is increasingly cited as a cause of truck accidents.
According to their report, the tires on most big trucks are not designed to handle speeds in excess of 75 mph, but many truck drivers are exceeding those limits.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently looked into the trend of tire blowouts on semi-trucks. They concluded that a lack of maintenance and high speeds were the culprit.
According to the NHTSA, there is no truck tire that is rated for speeds over 81 mph and most are at the 75 mph limit, but some states allow trucks to go at speeds of at least 75 mph.
Dave Osiecki of the American Trucking Association says the organization has been citing the speed limit dangers for years, saying states should not allow trucks to drive faster than 65 mph because of the tire issue.
Around 70 percent of the trucking companies in the U.S. set speed levels for their drivers at 65 mph or below, but that leaves 30 percent who do not place such limits on their employees. If a tire blows out on a big rig because the driver is speeding or the tires haven’t been properly maintained, the results can be disastrous for anyone nearby.
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