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Old 03-09-2011, 12:12 PM   #1
Wayne and Carolyn Mathews
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Cameo 5th-Wheeler Wreck on I-15

Shortly after noon today, this Cameo 5th-wheeler ended up on its side, wrenched from the hitch in the tow vehicle. Wayne was returning home from town about 45 minutes after the accident happened and saw the remains on the highway. The accident occurred about 30 miles south of Dillon at Exit 44 on I-15, the Clark Canyon reservoir exit. It's also the exit that takes you 6 miles down the road to our home.

From the marks left on the road, shoulder, and median, it was hard to tell what happened. The rig was right at the point where the northbound entrance ramp from the service road hits I-15, and the wind was pretty gusty, so there are several possibilities. I'm sure I'll learn more tomorrow from my EMT and fire department friends.

The tow vehicle had already been hauled off when Wayne drove by, so he didn't see how badly it was damaged. However, I did hear over the scanner in the school office that patients were being "transported," which around here generally means that someone is being flown to Idaho Falls or Missoula for trauma care rather than being brought in to our tiny local hospital, which has no trauma unit.

I surely hope the people pulling this Cameo are going to be ok. Once again, I was reminded just how quickly things can happen.


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Old 03-09-2011, 12:42 PM   #2
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WOW! I hope they are OK too.
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:44 PM   #3
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Wow.. I was just passing bye there today.. Probably @ about 11:20.. It was pretty windy. Lets all hope and pray they are OK...
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:06 PM   #4
bob n pam
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Wow! Hope the folks are okay.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:58 PM   #5
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It looks like the whole hitch was ripped out!
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:23 PM   #6
Wayne and Carolyn Mathews
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It does look like the hitch was just ripped out of the bed of the truck. We still haven't heard any more details, but Life Flight did come in and make a pickup at the airport, so we're guessing that was wreck-related.

I couldn't believe that the rig was set upright and taken away by 2:00 today.

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Old 03-09-2011, 07:56 PM   #7
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You are correct. You just never know and things can happen in a heartbeat! One second you are driving down the road and next thing you know you laying in your truck upside down looking at the sky! Drive safely.

What's the latest on the house? Did the folks go through with it? Later, Dennis
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:02 AM   #8
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And most folks will say that High winds are no problem. We were blown across 3 lanes of interstate with this rig a couple of years ago by a gust in New Mexico.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:02 AM   #9
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Rich, I agree. Even in my HDT I can feel the wind. The heavier vehicle helps but high winds will still push the trailer around.

Last year while east of Lander, WY on US287, I had a cross wind of 40mph gusting to 60mph. I knew the wind was blowing. The Class C in front of me was leaning so much I thought for sure he was going to blow over when those gust hit us. While my truck was not pushed too much watching the trailer in the mirrors I could see it being pushed around in the high winds. We had to slow down 20mph under the speed limit because it was just too much at the posted speed. We would have stopped but if you have ever traveled that piece of road you know there is no where to stop. By the time we reached Lander the winds had died down enough it was no longer an issue so we continued on to the Grand Tetons.

If you have not seen this YouTube Video of a bumper pull being blown over then it is worth a view

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Old 03-10-2011, 05:37 AM   #10
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ANYONE who says they don't have a problem when the winds are high, haven't experienced high enough winds. Strong winds do not mix with RVs. When winds get to about 50mph I know I am reduced to about 25-30 mph because you feel like you're gonna lose it any minute. This is not a comfortable feeling. We have not been in any stronger winds than that but if I am, we ain't going anywhere!

A former brother-in law, formerly from New Jersey was still trying to get used to high winds in Southern California. He worked for an Aerospace company's on the swing shift and commuted a long distance to do so. One night while making his usual drive home he was on a section of highway with three lanes going either direction and a HUGE center space divided (probably 100 ft) and the winds were terribly strong - the kind where RVs and trucks are "asked" to stay off the road. He was almost home, when he saw the trailer part on a semi truck on the oncoming lanes get lifted clean off its Semi tow vehicle and then this trailer tumbled lengthwise across his lanes of traffic until it dropped down into the lower ditches to its final resting spot. It amazed him so much he couldn't help but talk to everyone for weeks about the hazards of high profile vehicles in strong winds. The way this trailer tumbled he estimated it was empty, but isn't that what an RV is - a mostly empty high profile box?

I know I'm a believer. I can't imagine with the tornados in the mid west and hurricanes in the southeast that more damage is done that this isn't so much worse than we are shown. Winds can be absolutely hazardous. Coupled with a hitch that isn't maintained and torqued down correctly or a hitch that fails, don't mess with nature or it will mess you up.

I hope everyone is okay. This is a scary reality.
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