A family whose New York home was struck by a tractor trailer in May told reporters that the damage was so extensive that their only option was to demolish the house.
According to WIVB Channel 4 Buffalo, the May 28 crash occurred when driver David Raney, 57, of Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada, suffered a medical emergency and lost control of the tractor trailer while driving along Interstate 90 in Hamburg, New York.
The tractor trailer struck a utility pole and crashed through a chain-link fence before careening into the home.
Hazmat crews were dispatched to the scene of the crash, but fortunately, the tractor trailer’s cargo of paint, sodium cyanide, and electronics was not compromised.
Mr. Raney was later pronounced dead at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo.
Lynn Weber told WIVB that her parents and aunt, who lived in the damaged house, weren’t at home at the time of the crash. Although her family members are safe, they are sad to see the house that has been in their family for generations being destroyed.
“It’s very hard to watch the house go down. My grandfather built this, so it’s tough to watch and my dad put a lot of work into it,” she told WIVB.
The crash underscores some of the concerns over the issue of driver fitness, especially as it pertains to commercial drivers hauling tons of toxic substances and other dangerous materials.
According to Overdrive, a survey conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of nearly 1,700 long-haul truck drivers found a “constellation of chronic disease risk factors” in commercially licensed truck drivers, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, sleep apnea, and poor sleep duration.
While safety advocates have pushed for tougher regulations governing tractor-trailer driver fitness, they are unlikely to see any improvements under Donald Trump’s anti-regulation authority.
In fact, a proposed rule tightening restrictions on drivers with sleep apnea, one of the leading causes of drowsy driving, has already been rescinded by two federal agencies under Trump’s direction.
In August, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) abandoned regulatory efforts to reduce the number of fatigued-driver related crashes by requiring testing and treatment of sleep apnea in commercial drivers.