• October 13, 2014

Dwayne Usher Killed in Accident with Pizza Oven on Trailer on Lakeveille Highway in Petaluma, California

PETALUMA, CA -- Dwayne Usher was killed in an accident with a pizza oven in Petaluma, California on Friday, August 8th, 2014. The news release from the Press Democrat said that the accident happened around 7:10 Friday night.

32-year-old Dwayne Usher died when the car he was driving collided with a pizza oven on a towing trailer while driving on Lakeville Highway. California Highway Police said that the trailer dislodged from the van that was towing it because the hitch was not designed and rated for the weight of the trailer and the pizza oven. When the hitch gave out, the trailer was sent into the path of Usher's vehicle.

The accident report further explains that there were no spring loaded safety chain hooks engaged, and the trailer did not have its own braking system, which is legally required for a trailer hauling that much weight. In the event of an emergency separation, the independent braking system on the trailer would have engaged.

Usher was killed in the crash, while his three passengers were taken to a nearby hospital with unspecified injuries.

Scene of the Accident


I see so many things wrong in this accident, I'm struggling with which issue to address first. The police reports indicate that the hitch dislodged because it was not robust enough for the weight of the pizza oven and the trailer. Ultimate. Now, lawmakers put these laws regarding the safety of trailers for no other reason than to protect people on the roads. The news said that this was a vehicle that was owned and operated by a pizzeria, and such a small business may not have been aware of towing guidelines, but ignorance of the law excuses no one. As a matter of fact, if the restaurant's management elected to tow almost 4.000 pounds without looking up how to legally and safely tow, that is even more reason to bring them to justice.



--Grossman Law Offices

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