Semi sideswipes trailer – enough to ruin your whole day

18

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

With so many folks on lockdown, the road outside has been awful quiet. But digging back into history, we found this “sad tale of woe” from a couple who, last December, were minding their own business until they got an unexpected – and most unwelcome – visit from a semi-truck towing a stock trailer. Here’s the video, and the details are spelled out below.

Headed out of the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area with a destination of Fredericksburg, the film comes from the dash-cam of a couple who describe themselves as “mid-50s” who travel the country in search of adventures. No doubt they got more in the way of adventures than they wanted as they rolled down US 67, nearly to its intersection with Texas 220.

Their plans had been to head south on 220, but a semi which had been running behind them apparently had different plans. Just prior to the left turn onto the 220, the trucker decided to pass the RVing combo. “Not realizing that the semi was passing on our left in the opposing traffic lane of US-67. Just as we began the turn, the semi struck our truck and trailer along the left side,” they write.

The dash-cam spells out the shock that must have followed the hit, and what might appear to be the run of the wayward trucker. But the driver didn’t make a run for it, he brought his rig to a stop a half-mile down the road on US 67. Eventually a Texas state trooper wrote out a citation for the trucker “failing to allow sufficient room for a safe pass.” Of course, a traffic ticket isn’t much in comparison to having much of one side of your pickup sheared off, not to mention a big chunk of damage to your fifth-wheel.

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rvgrandma
3 months ago

In 2002 or 3, we were traveling from Oregon to TN for a convention. We were in the middle lane of a 3 lane freeway when trucks passed us on both sides. The trucker passing on the passenger side crossed over the white line before he was past us braking off our mirror. He never stopped but thankfully the truck behind him did so slowed down to make sure we could get over. We used duct tape to hold the lower part of the mirror on stopping in Pigeon Forge until we could get another mirror shipped to us. Needless to say we are still paranoid to ride in the middle lane (so avoid it if we can) and when trucks pass us!

Landmark Adventures
3 months ago

My wife and I are the owners of the RV and truck in this video. We were a little surprised to see it appear in the RVTravel.com newsletter, but I guess the video IS public on our website (LandmarkAdventures.net) and YouTube channel.

Let me clarify a few things in response to the comments that have been posted so far. First of all, the trucker was issued a citation for failing to leave sufficient room to pass, by the Texas Department of Public Safety officers who arrived on scene. And his insurance company accepted liability for the accident and is covering all the claims.

The truck driver claimed that he started the pass in a legal passing zone. The troopers weren’t convinced, but gave him the benefit of the doubt. However, there WAS a double yellow line that began before he hit us, so that’s why he got the citation.

We did have our left turn signal on. However, the speed limit on this two-lane rural highway is 70 mph. We were slowing down from 57 mph (the last time my wife, who was driving, looked at the speedometer). The truck was going at least 70, and probably faster, which is why it took him so long to stop. He also had two shredded tires on the right side, which may have impaired his ability to stop quickly.

Watch the video and see the last car that passes in the opposite direction, and then note how little time elapses before the collision. The trucker accelerated quickly to make his pass at that point. Had my wife happened to look in her left rearview mirror at the right moment, yes she *might* have seen him in time to avoid the collision, but we’re talking split seconds here. And normally at that type of intersection, you’d be looking at the oncoming traffic and scanning the intersection, and not looking for traffic that is illegally attempting to pass.

Finally, not to defend the trucker, but I’ll note that the DPS troopers said that that intersection is poorly designed and had been the site of similar accidents before. They told us that it is slated to be rebuilt as a “T” intersection with a stop/caution light once the state can find the funding.

In case you’re wondering, there was $17,000 worth of damage to our fifth wheel, $15,000 to our truck, and another $7,000 or so in related expenses (lodging, rental car, etc.). But we both emerged without a scratch, which is the most important thing.

Bob Godfrey
3 months ago

Very glad neither of you were injured.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
3 months ago

Thank you for filling in the gaps on the circumstances, Landmark Adventures. Very frightening, but we’re so glad that no one was injured. And thousands of our readers will see this, and will maybe be more cautious in their (defensive) driving based on your close call. Yikes! 😯 –Diane at RVtravel.com

Dr4Film
3 months ago

Thanks for the explanation! It all makes total sense now. Dash Cams are only useful IF they cover the entire story not just what’s out front. To fully protect any driver these days there needs to be cams on ALL sides. I drive a 41 foot Monaco and did tow a 30 foot cargo trailer for over 8 years. I had cameras on the back of the trailer, each side and one inside plus full time cameras on each side of the coach embedded into to each side mirror, one on the rear of the coach and a HD Dash Cam on our dash. My only close call was with a moose on the Fairbanks to Tok highway one year.

Charlie
3 months ago

Some of the truck drivers in Texas are real idiots. The gravel trucks drive 15-20 miles per hour over the limit and cause LOTS of wrecks.

Landmark Adventures
3 months ago
Reply to  Charlie

That must be why there are so many “hurt by a semi?” billboards for lawyers there! 🙁

rick
3 months ago
Reply to  Charlie

By my experience cattle haulers are the worst drivers. Intimidation seems to be their guide by following too close way over the speed limit and cutting in and out of lanes.

Bob Godfrey
3 months ago

From what I could see there was a double solid yellow line in the highway just before the accident and if the RV had it’s signal on far enough in advance then there’s not much the trucker could say to defend his actions as far as I can tell from the video.

DPHooper
3 months ago

Watched three times and feel this was more error on RVers than trucker. For the truck to have been that far into passing and the driver suddenly moving into left turn, the driver of RV should have seen the truck approaching in mirror before pulling into left turn.

Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  DPHooper

Sorry to disagree – But in every state I have lived in, it is not legal to pass at an intersection.

cuzzineddei
2 months ago
Reply to  DPHooper

Not taking sides due to can’t tell if signals were on or how intersection was layed out. Discription noted that semi was passing in on comming traffic lane (no turn lane), also how many times have you seen a “passing” lane at a road intersection? This seemed like a state road.

Dr4Film
3 months ago

Sorry but after watching this video a few times right at the critical point, either the truck driver didn’t see the left turn signal by the vehicle in front providing that he had one on well in advance of turning left OR the driver of the trailer didn’t look in his rear and side-view mirrors to see if it was OK to proceed bearing left onto a different road. Am I wrong in this evaluation???

alcomechanic
3 months ago
Reply to  Dr4Film

I believe your correct on this, but watch the video again. I was thinking the same thing and was thinking that the R. V. was partly at fault, but In watching the video again, I believe there is a no passing zone at this location. That being said the R. V. should have checked their mirror before changing lanes. Another thing, I believe that whether there was a marked “no passing” zone or not, it is against the law to pass at an intersection.

Landmark Adventures
3 months ago
Reply to  alcomechanic

As noted in my long comment above, yes this was a no-passing zone because of the intersection.

Bill
3 months ago
Reply to  alcomechanic

They weren’t changing lanes, there was a fork in the road.

Leslie Berg
3 months ago

I was travelling north on busy I-5 north of Redding which winds thru the mountains. Drivers tailgated and drove very fast, and semis’ back ends cantilevered into my lane from centrifugal force on the curves. I have rarely been so terrified.

John Goodell
3 months ago

I wonder how fast the trucker was going. He appeared awfully suddenly. I’ve been on those roads and it seems like lots of people travel at dangerous speeds, gambling that there will be no wildlife or road hazards around the next bend or over the next rise. I wonder if the 5th wheel RV’er used his turn signal.