On Sept. 18th, Alan Condon was driving his truck north on I-93 when a wheel came off of his trailer and flew into the southbound lanes. The wheel struck a state patrol car and then ricocheted and was hurled back into the northbound lanes of I-93.
The wheel and entire braking mechanism went through the windshield of SUV, driven Kerry Anderson-Baker of Concord. Baker, 40, was killed upon impact, according to the Concord Monitor.
No one else was injured.
Condon did not stop when the wheel came off of his trailer, but was later located at a nearby rest area where police conducted an inspection of his truck. Police said he was not aware he had lost a tire.
The tractor-trailer was carrying a modular home, for Crawford Homes, who also owns and maintains the truck.
The police inspection uncovered at least 60 safety violations, four of which should have kept the truck off the road.
According to the inspection, the brakes on the truck were “inadequate” for safe braking and were contaminated with grease and oil. One of the brake hoses on one axel was deteriorating because of constant chafing against another piece of the truck. Applying the service brake caused air loss in the brake canister on the same axel. All of these mechanical issues should have taken the truck out of commission.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, none of Crawford Homes two drivers or six trucks have been involved in an accident in the past 24 months until the one last week. However they have not fared well on random inspections.
A report from the FMCSA showed that Crawford Homes’ trucks have been pulled from the road in 8 out of 11 roadside inspections over the past 24 months.
Condon has not been charged with the accident.
The accident is still under investigation as authorities try to determine if it was the fifth wheel of the tractor-trailer that flew into traffic. The investigation could take 30 to 90 days.
Commercial truck companies and drivers have a duty to maintain their equipment. It is especially important when you consider the size and weight of commercial vehicles which can cause a great deal of damage to property and harm to a person if they are involved in a collision.
This accident is a sad reminder of the potential consequences that not properly maintaining large commercial trucks can have. The parties that own a poorly maintained truck can be held liable for any injuries or deaths that results from a truck accident caused by mechanical failure.
A truck accident attorney can help an accident victim determine who is responsible for their injuries. With their assistance, the injured party or the families of a deceased individual will obtain the maximum amount of compensation they deserve.