Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Va Parking and a Driver's death.

Another driver passed away today in a wreck just south of a rest area that is scheduled to be shut down by the Commonwealth of Va.

As I passed by the wreck this morning I noticed that it wasn't too far south of the rest area around the 160 mile marker on I-81 S. The wreck itself was at the 156 mile marker between the exit and entrance ramps for that access point. Now, I would be very interested in hearing what the crash investigators have to say about how this happened. The wreck seems to have involved one rig running into the back of another. The driver of the 2nd rig died.

While I don't have training in crash scene investigation, I do have almost 20 years driving tractor/trailers on the Interstate system. I have seen many wrecks of this type and talked with drivers who were involved in these kind of incidents. I will hazard a guess and suggest that the first truck was parked on the shoulder of the exit ramp. The 2nd rig may have been traveling at highway speeds on the Interstate. Rig 1 pulls off the shoulder and into Rig 2's path. This is pure conjecture on my part and we should await the Investigator's report.

But, I'd like to point out that while traveling south on I-81 this morning I noticed that all of the truck stops and rest areas I could see were full. I mean full! Trucks were parked everywhere and every which way. How the State of Va could even suggest that there is adequate parking is beyond my imagination.

To the Government of the Commonwealth of Virgina:

Please, do not put your citizens and travelers through this fair land in jeopardy. Don't shut down the rest areas....build more. There is not enough parking.

If you've got it a truck brought it.


Radioman said...

First off my condolences to the driver's family.

I am a long time truck driver, although now I do not travel all over. I did so for a long time. The problem in VA, is not only in VA but it spreads all over. Ohio has its own problems, PA has its own problems, KY has its own problems, etc. I could go on and on and on.

I used to run up and down I-81 all the time, between TN and PA and closing the rest area’s is a bad idea. They (VDOT) claim there is sufficient parking commercially, I ask this one question.

Where, is all this parking? The places that the VDOT says trucks can park, a couple places do not offer diesel, and one place is not even open 24 hrs.

In 1996 a report was put out that said Trucks carried 80% of all VA’s freight in 1992. What do you think it would be now? People, trucks are here and are here to stay. Truck Drivers have been mandated to follow a federal law that states we can drive for 11 hours, then we must rest for ten hours. It doesn’t say anywhere that this is for all states except Virginia.

Now, getting on to the two hour parking limit that is in place at all VA’s rest areas now. This law was supposed to be thrown out years ago. VA, just somehow has forgotten they were asked to remove it off the books. They are using it for revenue now. Wake up a driver from a rest area, tell him/her to move on down the road. The tired driver gets involved in a minor incident from being tired, DOT gets called in. Now the driver is in violation VA makes some more money.

My suggestion to this problem is. We (truck drivers, companies) should all but quit hauling the needed freight into VA, if they go ahead and decide to close these safe havens/rest areas.

Linda said...

Thank you for your letter this morning to Appomattox News re: this driver's death. Just wanted to let you know that your thoughts on the matter are published. WDBJ7 in Roanoke published information about the story with photographs. The trucker's name was Lonnie J. Owens of Greenville, Tennessee. He was 61-years-old, and the accident occurred in Botetourt County. My heartfelt condolences to the driver's family. Thank you for letting us know about this tragic accident.

Linda Goin
Appomattox News