Improperly Tied Truck Load Kills Three In Orange County, Indiana

Posted on Jan 18, 2010
While many people assume that trucker fatigue or speeding cause the majority of truck accidents, many fatal big rig accidents are the consequence of an improperly loaded truck or an improperly tied down load on a truck. This was certainly the case in Orange County, Indiana this week, when three people were killed due to a improperly tied metal coil.

Indiana State Police say that the big rig accident occurred on Ind. 37 outside of Orleans, when 44,000 pounds of coil came loose from a tractor-trailer. The large and heavy load killed 41-year-old Michael Daugherty from Mitchell, 22-year-old Zachary Staggs from Bedford and 21-year-old Shannon Steele from Jasper. Stagg’s 11-year-old sister Mackenzie Taylor survived the truck accident and is in fair condition. Steel and Staggs, who were seriously dating, hit the coil head-on. The coil then struck a second car driven by Daugherty.

The driver of the truck, Israel Rankin, will not face any criminal charges. The steel was to be used to make the front panels of dishwashers.

Indiana police issued the driver of the truck a ticket for improperly tying his load to his flatbed trailer. Police are still investigating what specifically caused the coil to fall off of the truck – and said that there were not enough chains holding down the coils and that one of the anchor points broke during the truck accident.

Deputy Bill Fullington, Orange County Sheriff's Department said that the Indiana truck accident was the worst he had seen and that the vehicles were barely recognizable.
James R. Keller
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