In June we published a series of blogs regarding a deadly chain reaction collision that killed 10 people on the Will Rogers Turnpike in northeast Oklahoma. The pictures and comments from the crash were horrific and stunned some of the most seasoned Oklahoma State Highway Patrol troopers and investigators. Newsok.com has reported a follow-up article today discussing the accident.
According to the article, inattention seems mainly to blame for the accident. Shortly after the collision, the 76 year-old driver gave confusing accounts of the accident to investigators. He asked a trooper
… if he had hit someone shortly after the crash… that vehicles had driven underneath him while he was parked"
The article further discusses that the investigation by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol found that
Creed had consistently been driving between 69.5 and 71 miles per hour in the 4.5 minutes just prior to the crash. The trooper also stated the truck left no skid marks, indicating no braking or evasive action prior to the first impact.
I suppose I could speak lawyerly and discuss statistics and Federal Motor Carrier Regulations on inattentive driving. However, in this post I do not feel compelled as the dangers of inattentive driving cannot be more graphically illustrated than by 10 funerals. 10 funerals that buried people of all ages and nationalities. 10 funerals where loved ones continue to grieve months later. Why did this happen? It seems senseless that these 10 lives were wasted due to someone forgetting they are driving a weapon.
Now to those reading this blog, it’s important to remember that you to are driving a weapon. It may not be an 80,000 lbs tractor trailer but it is still a deadly weapon. You are essentially carrying around a loaded gun with your hand on the trigger. Most likely, if you continue texting, calling, and putting makeup on and all the other distractions we see people doing on our daily commute, you too may be the cause of the death of another. It’s simply not worth it.