Last week a truck driver was injured after crashing into a tree. The truck, which was carrying 25 tons of asphalt, was headed down a steep road in North Tacoma when the brakes went out. Rodney Santos, the driver, successfully navigated the truck away from nearby workers and in between another dump truck and a paving machine. The truck continued down the road towards a sharp curve, hit the corner of a compacting machine and slammed into an empty pickup truck. Both vehicles went over the edge of a nearby cliff and the dump truck finally stopped after hitting a tree fifty feet down. The only injury in the whole incident was Santos’ broken nose. The state is investigating the safety procedures of the company that owned the truck, and they might face fines and be required to change policies. The city of Tacoma has fined Puget Paving and Construction for the defective brakes and will charge them for the guardrail damaged in the incident.
As a Seattle auto accident attorney, I know that there are times when an accident is completely unavoidable. It is lucky that Rodney Santos had the attention and wherewithal to navigate the truck away from any real destruction. It is exactly this sort of incident that makes it so dangerous to allow distractions when you are behind the wheel. If an issue arises you want to be able to give it your full attention so you can avoid an injury to yourself or someone else.