Thursday, September 23, 2010

CSP cites driver for trailer wreck

8/12/2010 6:00:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article
CSP cites driver for trailer wreck

Reid Wright
Journal Staff Writer

A local man was cited for a loose-trailer accident that smashed a sport utility vehicle and hospitalized an Oregon woman Aug. 5 on U.S. 491 near Cortez.

Following a Colorado State Patrol investigation, Kurt Trudeau was issued a citation for careless driving causing injury regarding the incident. It is apparent the fertilizer spreader being towed by Trudeau began to fishtail, a pin came loose and the farm implement separated from the Dodge pickup and drifted into the oncoming lane, colliding with a Toyota 4Runner driven by Feryl Laney, Trooper Joshua Boden said.

According to witnesses, Laney's vehicle then spun counter-clockwise, lost control and flipped end over end - ejecting the woman. The vehicle smashed into a security gate and came to a rest on Laney's leg.

Laney is in stable condition after being airlifted to St. Mary's hospital in Grand Junction, Boden said. President Ron Melancon said accidents such as this are not uncommon. Four hundred nineteen people have been killed in trailer-related incidents in Colorado since 1975, he said. Although the state requires safety chains, there are no other regulations for trailers under 3,000 pounds, he said,

"Why do we have to wait for another person to get hurt or lose their life to do the right thing?" he said.

Further, Melancon said incidents in which trailers come loose but do not cause injury or property damage go unreported.

In this case, the fertilizer spreader is legally classified as a farm implement in the state of Colorado ­- rendering the device even more immune to regulation, Melancon said. In the state of Virginia, such devices are not allowed to travel on the road, he said.

"A farm implement is supposed to be used on a farm," he said. "We all preach personal responsibility. Would you secure a child in a child safety seat the way you secured that farm implement?"

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