FRANKLIN, Indiana—A 55-year-old man was driving a dump truck owned by S Howard Transport near the 3100 block of South Mauxferry Road when the truck's passenger side tire hopped off the road. The man overcorrected, and the dump truck rolled into the ditch on the other side of the road. The accident occurred around 2:45 p.m. on October 12, 2022.
According to police reports, emergency personnel arrived at the crash site and found the dump truck completely engulfed in flames, on its side, and off the road between trees and brush. The man was severely burned and was pronounced dead at the scene.
South Mauxferry Road was closed between county roads 300 South and 350 South for several hours to accommodate cleanup efforts.
Investigation into the accident is ongoing. No further information has been released.
The Accident Must Be Investigated To Prevent Future Crashes and Help The Family Recover Help They Need Under The Law
The facts of this crash illustrate how quickly a single-vehicle rollover can happen. Sadly, not only did this man have to contend with the collision itself but also with the fire that ensued shortly after that. We can only hope that further investigation into this tragic accident will shed some light on how crashes like this can be better prevented in the future.
A more critical look at this crash may reveal, for example, that a product or manufacturing defect existed within the dump truck or its tires, causing the tire to 'hop' and the truck to catch fire. If that is the case, the surviving family may be entitled to compensation from the vehicle or tire manufacturer. After all, no one should be placed in financial hardship due to the unexpected passing of a loved one, especially if their cause of death was preventable.
Manufacturers of large vehicles must ensure that the placement of gas tanks and fuel lines in trucks do not inadvertently increase the risk of the vehicle becoming engulfed in flames when involved in a crash. Similarly, tire manufacturers should design tires that come into maximum contact with the road, thereby increasing the tire's surface area on the road and improving handling ability. This is quite literally where the "rubber meets the road." If tires are inadequately designed, tires may be more likely to be imbalanced, resulting in a 'hopping' feeling and the driver's loss of control. Although this issue is more prevalent in smaller vehicles, the problem can have catastrophic consequences for truck drivers, as was likely the case here.
Should investigators find any defects that caused the crash or lessened the chance of survival in this accident, the family may have a claim against any responsible party or parties to recover monetary damages. Additionally, holding a responsible party accountable after discovering a defect may help prevent other drivers from suffering the same fate in the future.
Regardless of the cause, single-vehicle accidents involving large trucks should be investigated to ensure future accidents are prevented.