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Man Hit And Killed By Runaway Trailer On the 605 Freeway

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A 48-year-old Rancho Cucamonga man died after a trailer being towed by a truck on the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway in Baldwin Park came loose and resulted in a four-vehicle crash. Gil Tae Kim reportedly died on the scene of head injuries he suffered in the crash, according to a news article on NBC News’ Web site.

Michael D. Brown, 45, of Long Beach was the person towing the runaway trailer in a Ford-350 truck. The trailer then suddenly detached itself from the truck, bounced over the center divider wall onto the southbound lanes of the 605, according to a California Highway Patrol accident report. A tire from the trailer apparently struck the windshield of Kim’s 2007 Toyota Camry on the driver’s side.

The impact of the tire crashing on his windshield reportedly caused Kim to lose control of his car, which slid to the center divided wall and came to a stop on a grassy patch on the side of the freeway. Two other drivers, who were also injured, were only treated for mild to moderate injuries.

This is yet another example of how runaway trailers can cause devastating crashes resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. This happens way more often than any of us realize. Although the government does not supply numbers about runaway trailer crashes, the Los Angeles Times recently reported that there were about 540 runaway trailer accidents between 2000 and 2007. These accidents reportedly resulted in hundreds of injuries and at least 164 deaths. Who knows how many incidents were not reported by news sources or didn’t find their way to court records?

A majority of people who get injured or killed in these crashes are reportedly motorists, but passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians have also been seriously hurt and killed. Some of these accidents occur because negligent truck drivers don’t take the time to make sure the trailers are secured properly. In other cases, the use of old or outdated trailer equipment can cause it to come loose or a trailer towing vehicle may be traveling at too high speeds.

Most of these accidents may have been prevented if those who use these trailers get proper instruction about how to use and hook up the trailer when they buy or rent one. Employers who use these trailers must also train their drivers on the proper way to attach these to their vehicles. There is, however, no rule in any of the 50 states that mandates a person towing a small-to-medium trailer to have any special training or instruction. Such a law would no doubt help save hundreds of life each year.

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  • Dustin Austin

    Interested parties need to contact their state representatives to push Federal DOT Officials to actually enforce their regulations. FMCSA states that companies that operate a vehicle that has a GVWR or Combined GVWR of over 100,001 lbs be DOT Compliant.

  • Please take a moment and go to

  • Dear Mr. Bisnar:

  • Another Accident just happen in Orlando Florida..

  • Glen Allen man seeks federal trailer rules

  • And Two days After Christmas

  • The Industry is Fighting me!!

  • Dear Mr. Binsar: Your law firm has touched on a hot topic for me. Please go to http://www.dangeroustrailers.org to view the information I have gathered. Just the past week I have received 3 accidents with these types of Utility Trailers. I have posted one of them onto my web site and will put the other two. These utility trailer manufacatures make them weigh just under the 3,000 pound magic number and by doing this they can avoid FEDERAL OVERSIGHT. You know why because if they weigh over the 3,000 pound magic number they need to have brakes and have a breakaway cable and be inspected in most states. So by making them just ONE pound under they are not regulated.

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