A semi truck driver was hospitalized following his truck overturning in Florida near the intersection of State road 19 and US 17 on Tuesday.
Cpl. Pete Young of the Florida Highway Patrol reported that the driver, one Gregory Terry Williams, overturned his truck and was transported to a Gainesville trauma center just after noon local time. His injuries were reported as serious, but not life-threatening, at the time he was admitted. According to Young, “It looked like he took this turn a little sharp and too quick and rolled it on the side.”
The crash threw Williams’ cargo, a load of road asphalt, all over the highways and into the median. Fortunately the impact did not injure anyone else, nor did it cause any additional accidents. A police helicopter was dispatched to survey the extent of the accident shortly after the truck overturned.
What is striking about this is that the driver was injured in the impact. Semi trucks are huge vehicles, as has been discussed before. Controlling them is difficult, as is evidenced by the failure of Williams to control his vehicle when making a sharp turn. Add in the pressure on these drivers to quickly get their cargoes to the specified locations as quickly as possible, and you can easily see how readily safety concerns are set aside. And clearly no one is safe — the driver himself was hurt as his vehicle turned over. If these large vehicles cannot protect their own drivers, how safe are others in collisions with a semi truck?
Further, the cargoes of these trucks are extremely large. They can carry hundreds of tons of payload, and when such a truck is in an accident, the cargo often is sent just about every which way. Imagine if instead of asphalt, the truck had been carrying massive concrete pipes for sewer lines, or a cargo of smaller cars? Would the accident have only injured one?