WINDHAM COUNTY, Conn. — Peter George Burns, a 57-year-old Sterling resident, tragically died on the morning of Jan. 5 when he lost control of a dump truck on I-395 in slick, icy conditions.
Burns lost control of the vehicle at about 6:30 a.m. while southbound on I-395 near Exit 29, according to Connecticut State Police. The dump truck veered off the left shoulder, struck a speed limit sign, crossed the highway, and collided with a wire guardrail on the right shoulder before continuing down an embankment where it hit several trees.
Burns was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. No other vehicles were involved.
The crash is among many that were reported across Connecticut Wednesday morning when slick, ice-covered roads posed hazardous driving conditions.
Commentary on the fatal dump truck accident in Plainfield, Connecticut
Dump truck accidents leading to fatality are not as common as one would think. A quick search of the Occupational Health Safety and Health Administration site reports no more than two such fatal accidents in all of 2021. Dump trucks are solid and sturdy, difficult to roll, and provide ample protection for occupants. Dump trucks retain traction considerably well in incremental weather and are often the first line of defense in clearing snow and debris from roadways.
Officials reported Mr. Peter Burns lost control of the dump truck and veered off the left side of the road, overcorrected, and proceeded off the right side of the road. The accident sequence in this accident is puzzling for many reasons. Primarily, what caused the dump truck to lose control suddenly? As a product defect attorney, my mind first goes to a mechanical failure such as a tire blowout or a steering column failure. I have seen an increased number of commercial tires failing in inopportune times over the past several years and am suspicious that recalls may be in the works. A detailed investigation by trained professionals will shed greater light on the accident and any action the surviving family may be entitled to.
I extend my condolences to Mr. Peter Burns’ family and friends as they cope with this heart-breaking time of grief and sorrow. May you find solace.
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