11 Injured, 1 Critical in Dump Truck Accident on North Main in Tooele, UT
Tooele, UT — November 3, 2023, at least 11 people were injured due to a commercial truck accident Friday afternoon along North Main Street.
Preliminary statements on the fiery crash say that it took place along 1000 North Main Street, at the intersection of 1000 North, and ended at the Tooele Motor Company car dealership.
There have been statements in the news from officials as well as video of the initial moments of the accident which shed light on what happened. It appears there were a semi-truck hauling dump trailers traveling toward the intersection. It can be seen going at-speed approaching stopped vehicles, and it veers around the line of cars. The truck then barrels through the intersection and crashes into an oncoming vehicle waiting for the light. It continued on to strike other vehicles before running into the car dealership lot where it hit multiple vehicles and sparked a large fire.
In most recent reports, it appears a 67-year-old woman in one of the vehicles hit by the truck was taken to a hospital with critical injuries. There were at least 11 reported injured parties, though names and conditions weren't given.
Authorities say that they are "looking into mechanical failure" right now, and that doesn't at all surprise me. While I don't know any more about this crash than anyone else in the public, there are a lot of similarities to what I'm seeing in the video of this accident and what I've seen in past accidents involving mechanical issues, such as catastrophic brake failure. On top of the challenge of narrowing down the potential problems that can lead to a crash like this, investigators must also be able to determine if this all was avoidable.
People sometimes hear "mechanical failure," and they believe the machine is to blame. It's possible, though not common, for something to unpredictably break down. More often, though, a mechanical failure is the result of misuse or poor maintenance. Let me give an example.
A while back, I handled a case involving a truck that broke down in the middle of a highway, leading to a serious crash. Authorities didn't seem to think much of the situation, but our investigations revealed that it was entirely avoidable. Among other mistakes, our investigations found company records which clearly showed the company completely ignored a known mechanical problem their driver brought to their attention months before the crash. Instead of considering the safety of others, including their own driver, they were willing to bet they could ride out the problem as long as possible to avoid paying for repairs. They either didn't consider the possibility people would get hurt or they simply didn't give a damn. Had that driver worked for a company that listened to the concerns of their drivers, the crash likely would have been entirely avoided.
Now, whether or not something like that happened here isn't for me to say. But if there's a chance someone failed to address a problem that eventually led to all of this chaos, it wouldn't be right for them not to answer for those actions.