Belmont, NC — A driver was killed on I-85 in Belmont this Friday morning after an 18-wheeler rear-ended his pickup truck. The accident happened at about 9:30 a.m. this morning (Friday, Feb 14) and the deceased driver was identified as Gilbert Carmona, 28 years old.

Carmona was driving his pickup truck along northbound I-85 and was preparing to exit at Beatty Street when he slowed down and was hit from behind by an 18-wheeler that didn’t brake in time. The road was icy in that area, police said.

Carmona was killed immediately and the truck driver isn’t facing any charges as of yet. The Belmont Police Department is handling the investigation and they said they would be talking with the District Attorney’s Office to determine how to handle the accident.

Scene of the Accident

Commentary:

The news reports are saying that the victim was simply slowing down on an icy road to make an exit. If the driver had swerved across several lanes of traffic to make the exit, I could understand how the accident might have happened. However, it appears that the 18-wheeler simply didn’t slow in time, which suggests to me that he was following too closely in the first place. Obviously, I didn’t witness this accident, but this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen an 18-wheeler driving too fast or following too closely in icy/snowy weather.

The fact of the matter is that rain, ice, snow, etc affect every driver on the road – but they especially affect big rigs and 18-wheelers. Those larger trucks simply can’t slow down as fast as a Honda Civic, for example. A lot of people argue that truckers need to be given more consideration on the road, but the way I see it, truckers need to be more careful and mindful of the fact that their big rigs need lots of braking time.

 

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I'm a former employee. I had brought up this exact scenario and suggested a maintenance procedure that would eliminate the possibility of this type injury. Obviously my warning went unheeded.
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