• September 12, 2022

Driver Injured in Dump Truck Crash off Route 39 near Huntsville, UT

Huntsville, UT — September 9, 2022, a truck driver was critically injured when his dump truck ran off the road and crashed in a ravine near Huntsville.

Authorities say the incident happened around 2:00 p.m. near the crossing of State Route 39 and Trappers Loop Road. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was driving north on Trappers Loop when it approached the "T" intersection with Route 39. Investigators say the truck may have had a mechanical issue and it passed through the intersection and off Route 39's north side. It drove through a nearby field and then down a steep ravine, then crashed at the bottom.

The driver, allegedly not wearing a seat belt, may have been ejected and was found outside the truck when responders arrived. He was airlifted to an area hospital for treatment of critical injuries.

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

Driver Injured in Dump Truck Crash off Route 39 near Huntsville, UT

Commentary on Dump Truck Crash off Route 39 near Huntsville

Investigators are still piecing together what happened, but witnesses reportedly told them the truck's brakes were smoking as it traveled off the highway. Coupled with police saying there may have been "mechanical problems" with the truck, that sounds like something either malfunctioned or outright broke as it traveled.

Commercial truck brakes are heavy-duty, but so are the trucks they're put on. Dozens of tons of steel and fiberglass tooling around local roads and highways, some of them on steep inclines, put a lot of strain on brakes. That's why regular checkups and maintenance are crucial, but unfortunately some companies with fleets of trucks "forget" or skimp out on those necessary precautions. Disaster almost inevitably strikes when a truck isn't properly maintained and we end up seeing something like what happened in Utah.

Having said that, however, I have no specific reason to believe the company behind that truck failed in its upkeep duties. But if not that, then what? Well, another explanation might be that the brakes were somehow defective. People don't always realize this, but a lot of products and the components inside them roll off the lines imperfect or even dangerously out of spec. Even as I write this there are vehicle recalls out for spontaneous fires, brake line failures, bad tires, explosive airbags, and many other issues, and commercial trucks have many similar problems. It's an issue that certainly merits further investigation, because not only would a manufacturer have a duty to help the injured truck driver--it also would need to sound the alarms and recall the faulty parts before someone else runs off the road.

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