Faulty brakes were partial cause of Pennsylvania fatal work accident

In the aftermath of a serious trucking industry crash that led to the death of the driver, the Clinton County Natural Gas Task Force heard testimony in late May about potential causes of the event. The 50-year-old driver killed in the work accident was employed by QC Logistics, a subcontractor of Anadarko Petroleum. The company transports the water and sand needed to support drilling, impoundment and fracking operations throughout Pennsylvania.

It is believed that the driver of the commercial truck was delivering a tank of fresh water when he may have missed a turn and lost control of the vehicle. The truck and tank rolled down a heavily wooded mountainside sometime before 6 a.m. on May 16. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene by a local coroner.

Investigations into the crash have all focused on the brake system. Two citations have been filed against the company that employed the driver, both concerning the brakes. A representative from Andarko told the task force that the company has suspended all operations with QC Logistics pending completion of an inspection of each truck within the fleet.

Along with the braking system, investigators also point to very foggy conditions and what may have been unfamiliar terrain as factors in the crash. The spokesman for the task force is pushing for additional safety measures in the area where the crash occurred, stating that he is aware of at least three fatal crashes at that spot.

The accident is still under investigation by the Pennsylvania police. At the present time, no charges or lawsuits have been filed regarding the fatal work accident that took the life of a man and destroyed a commercial tanker truck. Nevertheless, the victim’s family may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits from the man’s employer as they struggle to make sense of a tragic circumstance and consider what rights they may have under state law.

Source: Williamsport Sun-Gazette, “Fatal wreck attributed during task force meeting to fog, faulty brakes,” Jim Runkle, May 30, 2012


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