Friday, July 25, 2008

Teen hurt when loose U-Haul trailer slams car

Cranston Heights firefighters work to extricate a 17-year-old from the vehicle he was driving after a U-Haul trailer detached from a pickup and collided with the car.

Firefighters extract victim from car in Prices Corner crash

By TERRI SANGINITI • The News Journal • July 25, 2008

A 17-year-old Wilmington boy was critically injured Thursday morning when a U-Haul trailer detached from a truck and collided with his car in Prices Corner,

The crash happened at about 11:05 a.m. when a 2000 Hyundai Elantra, driven by Daniel Billinger, was heading west on Kirkwood Highway, state police Cpl. Jeff Whitmarsh said.

An eastbound pickup, operated by Andrew Downing, 24, of Wilmington, lost its U-Haul trailer under the Del. 141 overpass.

The pickup was towing a box-style cargo trailer that crossed into the westbound lanes and collided with the Hyundai.

The victim was trapped in his car for about 30 minutes before Elsmere firefighters got him out, said Richard D. Krett, assistant chief of New Castle County Paramedics.

The victim was treated on the scene for a fractured left leg and internal injuries, Krett said.

He was taken to Christiana Hospital in critical condition.

Downing had rented the trailer from the Shell Station at Kirkwood Highway and Duncan Road, police said.

Downing was cited for having an unsafe motor vehicle, Whitmarsh said.

The road was restricted to one lane in both directions for about an hour.

This is not the first time a U-Haul detached and caused a crash on Kirkwood Highway.

On May 15, 2004, Sara Eschavarria was driving east on Kirkwood Highway through the intersection of Upper Pike Creek Road, when a U-Haul trailer on a westbound car driven by Roger Mayfield, of Florida, detached and slammed into Eschavarria's car.

The car was sliced open and flipped over, trapping the driver for 25 minutes and leaving her with serious injuries.

Eschavarria filed a federal lawsuit against Mayfield and U-Haul in May 2005.

U-Haul was later dropped from the case after settling out of court.

During a March 2007 trial, the jury ruled in favor of Eschavarria and against Mayfield in the amount of $125,000 for compensatory damages.

1 comment:

Amelia said...

This is such a tragic story, and unfortunately, it's not the only one. To learn more about how Uhaul's poor safety standards have put their customers in harm's way, go to www.uhaulsafetyalert.org.

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