Personal Injury

Montana log truck spill causes crash and road blockage

Kalispell, Montana’s KAJ18 reported that a logging truck driver received a citation after the trailer full of timber he was hauling became unhitched on a state highway near Bigfork, Montana, Thursday and set off a crash that blocked much of the road.

A witness told KAJ18 that the tractor trailer had attempted to make a right turn off of Montana Highway 83 onto Highway 35 North when the trailer fell out from underneath. The Montana State Highway Patrol inspected the vehicle and said it appeared the pin that helped secure the logs in place with a metal frame broke off, causing a number of the logs to roll off the trailer.

Two other vehicles were struck by the falling logs, but no injuries were reported. One of the drivers said he saw what was happening and sped up to avoid being hit but that the logs clipped the back end of his pickup truck. Another driver in a pickup truck also tried to get out of the way, but the falling logs smashed the front end of the vehicle.

“The Montana Highway Patrol says everyone is lucky they weren’t hurt and that a mechanical malfunction is to blame for the mishap,” KAJ18 reported.

An MHP officer who responded to the crash offered the following advice to truckers who could find themselves in a similar situation:  “Just make sure that you do your annual inspections on your commercial motor vehicles, making sure that your equipment’s functional.”

According to KAJ18, the driver of the logging truck was cited for failing to secure the cargo on his commercial motor vehicle.

Many of the densely forested regions of Montana see a lot of commercial logging activity, so accidents involving logging trucks aren’t rare. The Montana Chapter of the Northwest Log Truckers Cooperative offers a lot of valuable information on its website to logging truck drivers and motorists who share the roads with them, such as: “Human Factors Cause Accidents” and “Don’t Hang Out in the NO-Zone.”