Preventable or not? Driver dinged at the dock

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Updated Jan 29, 2019

On the morning of the crash, refrigerated straight-truck driver John Doe was rolling along Friendly Road toward Greensboro, N.C., en route to the Fiesta Fresh restaurant with several boxes of Mrs. Hotstuff’s Chili Con Carne. At the moment, Doe was listening to a dramatic account on Channel 19 of a heroic Quebec-based trucker who’d taken a trailer load of broccoli hostage – as a protest against unsafe working conditions – before his capture in Iowa. Holy hollandaise!

Ah hah … there was the “Trucks Only” delivery entrance to Fiesta Fresh dead ahead. Doe slowed to a crawl, cautiously entered the tiny dock area behind the restaurant and began a wide swing toward the right, at 5 mph, in anticipation of parking by the loading area. His right-turn signal was flashing. Without warning, tragedy struck.

Betty Brashly, a sleep-dazed late-for-work waitress, accelerated wildly into the gravel-covered dock area behind the wheel of her pink Mustang, seeking a shortcut to the employee parking area. Suddenly aware that Doe was turning across her bow, Brashly leaned on her horn, hit the brakes and started to slide. Simultaneously, Doe saw a flash of pink enter the yard and panic-stopped within a few feet but … WHUMPO! Egad! Brashly’s pony car had skidded right into, and slightly dented, Doe’s right-side saddle tank!

Since Doe contested the preventable-accident warning letter from his safety director, the National Safety Council’s Accident Review Committee was asked for a final verdict. NSC immediately ruled in Doe’s favor, noting that he’d proceeded with caution and was stationary when struck by the speed-crazed Brashly.