• November 08, 2022

Donald Gercie, Joel Ortiz Killed in Dump Truck Accident on I-78 in Lehigh County, PA

UPDATE (November 9, 2022): Sources have identified the two men killed in this accident as 63-year-old driver Donald Gercie and 40-year-old passenger Joel Ortiz. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Lehigh County, PA — November 7, 2022, two people died when a dump truck collided with the Adams Road overpass on Interstate 78 in Lehigh County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 9:50 a.m. on eastbound I-78 at Adams Road. Preliminary investigation suggests a dump truck was towing a skid steer on a trailer eastward in the right lane when it went out of control for unknown reasons. The truck crashed into the Adams Road overpass, then rolled multiple times as its trailer detached.

Two people inside the dump truck were fatally injured in the crash, which remains under investigation.

No further information is currently available.

Donald Gercie, Joel Ortiz Killed in Lehigh County, PA Dump Truck Accident

Commentary on Lehigh County Dump Truck Accident on I-78

I hope investigators will take the time and care needed to figure out exactly what happened here and whether it could have been avoided, but before more facts are available it's probably best not speculate about either. However, there's another big detail about this incident that may not get the consideration it deserves: The rollover and its possible contribution to the occupants' fatal injuries.

For several years now, technology has existed to help trucks better withstand a rollover. Even the most up-to-date protections aren't magic and can't stop every rollover from having dire results, but in many cases a wreck that victims should have walked away from becomes a race against time to treat them for critical or even fatal injuries.

In those cases where a trucking company just refused to update its designs or improve its manufacturing process, is it really fair for the end users to pay the price? I certainly don't think so, which is why I blog about these accidents and try to shed some insight on a lesser-known problem with the transportation industry. Only time and careful investigation could say whether it played any part in Lehigh County.

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