HOOKSETT, N.H. – A tractor trailer that lost its wheel on a New Hampshire interstate last month, killing a 40-year-old Concord woman, had a number of serious safety violations and should not have been on the road, according to an inspection report completed just after the crash.
The deadly crash occurred when driver Alan Condon, 50, of Oakfield, Maine, was driving north on I-93 and a wheel separated from the trailer. The heavy wheel rolled into the southbound lanes, struck a state police cruiser, and bounced back into the northbound lanes where it struck an SUV.
The SUV’s driver, Kerry Anderson-Baker, a mother of two young sons, died on impact. No others were injured.
Mr. Cordon was hauling a modular home in a trailer belonging to Crawford Homes of Houlton, Maine. He didn’t stop the truck after the trailer lost its wheel, but authorities say he probably didn’t realize what had happened. Maine State Police eventually located the Mr. Cordon at a rest stop and inspected his vehicle. That report shows the truck and trailer had six safety violations, including four that essentially deemed the vehicle unsuitable for the road.
Violations that made the vehicle un-roadworthy included bad brakes covered with oil and grease that were “inadequate” for safe stopping, a deteriorating, unsecured brake hose that was chafing against another part of the truck, and a defective service brake that created a loss of air from a brake canister on the same axle.
The report also determined that the trailer and its wheels either lacked or had improper emergency braking and breakaway mechanisms. In fact, the wheel that separated from the trailer had its entire braking mechanism attached to it.
The investigation is ongoing and the New Hampshire State Police are re-inspecting the truck to determine why the wheel and brake flew off of the trailer.
According to the Concord Monitor, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) records show that trucks owned by Crawford Homes have been pulled out of service eight out of 11 times they were picked for random inspections.