Preventable or not?


Right turn goes wrong for Doe


Preventable Untitled 1John Doe couldn’t avoid an impatient four-wheel driver behind his flatbed who lost control when trying to cut in front of him. Was this a preventable accident?




During lunch at Union 76, some of the guys at the far table were arguing about who had the best country-western guitar. Trucker John Doe definitely felt he’d won, having spoken with great authority about the thunderous, wondrous sound made by his jumbo 1969-vintage Gibson Dove – fitted with heavy-gauge special-alloy bronze strings, of course.

Still burping from a tasty salad piled high with low-cal dressing, Doe left the truckstop with a steel-laden flatbed in tow, heading west on Route 1. He stopped at a red light, preparing to turn right onto Pooca Parkway with his right-turn signals flashing. When the traffic light turned green, he carefully scanned his mirrors before starting to turn, but hidden from his view was Marilyn “Crazy Mary” Fraznik, whose purple 1972 Lincoln Town car was directly behind Doe’s trailer.

Fraznik also wanted to turn right, but darn it, she sure didn’t want to get stuck behind the nasty ol’ 18-wheeler that blocked her path. So, fortified by several drinks of Jack Daniels (ice, no water), Fraznik drove off the road and onto the grassy corner of the junction, then attempted to head off Doe’s rig before he could complete his turn. But she didn’t make it and slammed into the side of Doe’s trailer.

No way could he have seen her coming, Doe argued when he received a preventable-accident safety letter from his safety director. Asked to settle the issue, the National Safety Council’s Accident Review Committee sided with Doe, noting that there was nothing he could have done to avoid being blindsided.