Preventable or not: Nobody backs Doe in a corner

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Updated Jan 6, 2010

At 11 a.m. on a sunny day, tractor-trailer driver John Doe was traveling toward Oklahoma City while engaged in a heated CB debate with doubles-driver Winston J. “Snake” Farnsworth III about the best place to stop for lunch. Occasionally, Doe stopped talking long enough to ingest some Spicy Ranch Doritos, but those tasty treats weren’t quite enough to calm the rumble in his stomach.

Checking his in-cab display for some delicious points of interest, Doe saw he and Snake both were approaching Mama Zama’s Truck Stop from opposite directions, so he arranged an 11:15 a.m. lunch rendezvous with his good buddy. For the moment, however, Doe’s trip was interrupted by a red traffic signal at the Bovine Highway intersection. After the light turned green, Doe’s ears were besieged by wild horn-blowing amid the adjacent-lane arrival of a purple top-down Mustang convertible driven by a scowling fist-waving young lady named Madrid Marriott.

Clearly, Marriott wanted Doe to pull over, which he did. Marriott then pointed to her banged-up bumper and accused Doe of rolling back into her poor little pony car at the light. “No way,” Doe said. Since Doe contested the preventable-accident warning letter he received from his safety director, the National Safety Council’s Accident Review Committee was called upon to render a final decision.

After determining that the roadway at the intersection was as flat as a pancake, NSC ruled in Doe’s favor, deciding that his rig could not have rolled backward. NSC concluded that a daydreaming Marriott probably had run her brother’s Mustang into the back of Doe’s trailer, and then deviously had attempted to shift the blame to Doe.