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Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident

Description of Incident:
A three-person crew left a well site location at 7:00 am during daylight hours with clear visibility. The
highway was covered with snow and icy patches. The crew drove for approximately 15 minutes
when they crested a long, low-angle hill. As they began to descend the other side, a third party
pickup truck that was ascending the hill from the other direction lost control and skidded sideways
across the center line and into their lane. The driver of the three-person crew immediately steered
hard to the right, but did not have enough time or space to avoid a collision. The third party truck was
struck on the passenger side door, with the initial impact coming primarily from the front driver side
of the crew vehicle. The incident resulted in three fatalities: the two occupants of the third party truck,
and the crew’s driver.

Corrective/Preventive Actions:
Investigation provided the following recommendations:
 Drive defensively and expect the unexpected. Remember, third party drivers are unpredictable.
 Be aware that although people may have experience with winter driving conditions, they are out-of-practice
at the beginning of the winter season and their skill level is lower. This is evidenced by the increased driving
incidents following the first snow fall.
 Even with experienced drivers, driving speeds must be adjusted to allow adequate time and space to react
defensively.
 When ascending or descending snow and ice-covered hills, keep a steady pace and do not accelerate
excessively which can cause loss of traction. Pick-ups should have added weight in the truck bed and be in
four-wheel-drive mode.
 Always drive to the speed of the road conditions, which is not necessarily the posted speed limit.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 2nd, 2015 at 3:15 pm and is filed under Firemaster Flash, News, Safety Alerts.

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