• September 08, 2022

Truck Driver Injured by Another Truck’s Loose Wheels on I-70 in Trego County, KS

Trego County, KS — September 7, 2022, a 66-year-old South Dakota man was hospitalized after a truck's loose wheels hit his big rig in Trego County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 4:50 p.m. along Interstate 70. Preliminary investigation suggests a 72-year-old Texas man was driving a semi-truck east on the highway when his semi-trailer lost its set of wheels for unknown reasons. The loose wheels then passed through the median and hit westbound big rig's door, causing that driver to swerve off-road into the north ditch.

The westbound truck's driver was taken to a hospital with suspected serious injuries. The eastbound driver was unhurt.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Loose Truck Wheels Accident in Trego County

People have an unfortunate tendency to see accidents like this as simple freak occurrences where nobody is truly to blame. I can't say I agree, though--wheels fully detaching and rolling away from a big rig's trailer must have done so for a reason.

It's possible the truck just hit something that broke the wheels off their axle, but here's the problem: Wheels have been attached in ways meant to resist that exact problem for centuries, and their ability to stay put has only increased in that time. Modern vehicles have very little chance of losing their wheels just from hitting road debris. Instead, it's far more likely that someone screwed up while attaching them.

Truck Driver Injured by Another Truck's Loose Wheels on I-70 in Trego County, KS

If that turns out to be right in Trego County then it's important to find out who didn't do their job right. Was that semi-trailer properly maintained by its owners? Is it possible whoever does their maintenance didn't correctly attach or re-attach the wheels? Were some of the parts used faulty, meaning their manufacturer should answer for the damage done? I'm not pointing any undue fingers, but I think many would agree that if someone's negligence caused that trucker serious harm then they should be held accountable.

Unfortunately, in my experience law enforcement crash investigators don't always round up enough clear details to guarantee that accountability. I don't mean to slight their efforts, but think about it: Do they really have the time to go through the truck's service logs, the expertise to analyze the physics of how the wheels detached, or the resources to visit every place that fixed or checked the trailer? If this crash is like others I've seen where loose wheels caused mayhem, that's the kind of thorough investigation needed to get the whole story and see justice done.

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