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Logging truck plunged off bridge, crushing driver

Date of incident: November 2013
Notice of incident number: 2013165800214
Employer: Log hauler

Incident summary
A loaded logging truck was entering a single-lane bridge on a forest service road. The right front wheel contacted the right side of the bridge end guardrail. The truck then veered to the left, sheared off the rail, and went off the left side of the bridge. The driver opened the door but was unable to jump out of the truck before it came to rest on the driver's side on the river bank. The driver was pinned under the cab of the truck and sustained fatal injuries.

Investigation conclusions

  • Worker crushed by cab of truck: It is unknown what events led up to the driver losing control and the truck making contact with the bridge end guardrail and subsequently going over the side of the bridge. At some point, the driver opened the driver's side door and made an effort to exit the cab. The driver was crushed by the cab as it rolled onto its side.

Underlying factors

  • Steering deficiencies: Steering may have been impacted by the inability of the fifth wheel assembly to move as designed due to lack of lubrication. A loss of air suspension and gear control could not be confirmed but may have contributed to a loss of steering if they were not engaged.
  • Slippery road conditions: There was snow on the ground and the temperature was around freezing. The slippery road conditions may have limited the driver's ability to recover his steering, causing the truck to hit the bridge end guardrail and go over the bridge.
  • Narrow bridge: Given the bridge's narrow dimension, the driver was not able to recover his steering and correct the path of travel after the right front tire of the truck struck the bridge end guardrail.
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Publication Date: Nov 2013 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2013165800214