A 56-year-old Ohio man died from injuries sustained when his semi truck overturned on early Thursday morning. According to sheriff's deputies, the truck driver was traveling on I-75 around 4:30 a.m. on Thursday when his tractor-trailer veered off the roadway, went over a ravine and flipped on its side.
When first responders appeared on the scene of the truck accident, they found the driver alive, but trapped in the cab of his semi. According to the Times-Tribune, the truck driver told rescue workers that he fell asleep at the wheel and lost control. The responders worked for an hour to free him from the crushed semi, but the truck driver died before they could extract him.
The 2009 Volvo tractor-trailer was owned by a freight company based in Massillion, Ohio, and had been hauling industrial-size cans of tomatoes. When the truck overturned, it spilled its contents alongside the road. The southbound lane of I-75 was closed for almost six hours following the accident on Thursday morning, as crews worked to clean up the truck's cargo and move the truck from the shoulder.
State officials investigating the accident do not suspect drugs or alcohol as factors in the crash and have noted that the truck driver was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident. It does, however, appear that truck driver fatigue may have been a factor in the accident.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, truck driver fatigue is a contributing factor in 30 to 40 percent of all heavy truck accidents. More than 750 people die and another 20,000 are injured each year due to fatigued commercial truck drivers, according to statistics provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Source: The Times-Tribune, Man Dies After I-75 Semi-Trailer Crash, 2/18/11