When we think of semi truck accidents, the usual images that come to mind are crash victims, mangled vehicles, massive roadblocks and other such events. Sometimes there are other consequences such as fuel or waste spills, or the odd cases of interesting cargo such as milk, beer, bees, chickens or alligators spilled across the highway. And sometimes there are consequences that someone could never foresee.
Such was the case recently in the town of Girard, OH.
On Sunday, December 18, a semi truck tried to turn itself around in the parking lot of a medical center. The truck snagged on a guy wire, pulling down a series of power and phone lines in the process. No one was hurt in the accident, but the accident caused the town’s local 911 emergency services center to be put out of commission for several days. Girard residents were directed to call several alternate numbers while services to the 911 center were restored.
Semi trucks are enough of a hazard for drivers to have to negotiate on the highways. Having one cause emergency services to go down is an unusual event, but it highlights the difficulties presented by maneuvering such a large truck in small spaces.
This is why there are designated safe travel routes for semi trucks — particularly those carrying hazardous materials — through residential areas. Such routes keep these vehicles away from dense residential centers and school areas as much as possible, but there are only so many routes available, and in smaller cities such as Girard, things can get a bit crowded, and the results can be potentially very dangerous.
Fortunately, it seems that the story has a happy enough ending. No one was hurt, and the necessity for emergency services during the few days of the outage seemed not to have been high. Still, once again, the unusual accident serves as an illustration and warning for those dealing with and operating semi trucks – everyone involved needs to exercise additional observation and caution.