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Archive for Monday, May 13, 2002

Tractor-trailer kills teen driver

How rig lost control still unknown

May 13, 2002

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— A tractor-trailer loaded with Lifesavers candy toppled onto a sports car, killing its teen-age driver and shutting down part of Interstate 70 for much of Saturday, authorities said.

The rig was in the passing lane when it veered off a curved stretch of the interstate around 10:15 a.m. The trailer fell on the car, which was in the slow lane.

The wreckage caught fire, and rescue workers needed about an hour to reach the victim, identified only as an 18-year-old man from the Kansas City area.

The truck driver, who drove for Gainey Transportation Services, a company based in Grand Rapids, Mich., refused treatment at the scene.

Kansas City Police Sgt. Jim Fuller said the crash, which shut down the westbound lanes of I-70 until 5:30 p.m., remained under investigation.

"It's hard to say whether he lost control on the curve or not," Fuller said of the trucker. "It could be the slick road, it could be speed, it could be a mechanical problem with the truck. We just don't know yet."

Federal safety records show that in the past 24 months Gainey Transportation's 1,150 trucks and 1,200 drivers have been involved in 10 fatal crashes and 59 injury crashes.

The company's safety director did not return phone calls.

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