It was midnight, and the wind was howling like a hound dog as trucker John Doe fought his way toward Woonsocket, S.D., peering intently through his windshield at a major blizzard. He was plowing his way through deep snow on Persnickety Pike at 35 mph with a heavily-laden 53-foot dry-freight van in tow. Appropriately, the local country-western channel was playing “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere.”
At least Doe had a big Thermos of ultra-strong coffee obtained from Aunt Fanny’s Truck Stop to keep him alert and warm. Suddenly, his headlights illuminated a strange “something” on the road ahead … Great gallopin’ gophers! Persnickety Pike was blocked partially by a giant tree!
Feverishly pumping the brakes, Doe locked a death grip on the steering wheel, but his frantic, heroic attempts to save the day did no good: His tractor slid into the fallen oak with a resounding “WHOMP!” Doe wasn’t hurt, but his bumper was brutalized, and a few days later, his mood became traumatized when he received a warning letter for a preventable accident from his safety director.
Doe contested the ruling, and the National Safety Council was asked to resolve the dispute. NSC immediately upheld the preventable ruling, noting that Doe clearly had been overdriving his headlights and was going too fast for blizzard conditions with deep snow on a dark road.