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Truck Carrying Human Waste Overturns at Fort Mill in South Carolina

Truck Carrying Human Waste Overturns at Fort Mill in South Carolina

An unpleasant accident in Fort Mill, South Carolina which saw a truck carrying 18 liquid tons of treated human waste turn on its side and spill its load onto Interstate 77, serves as another reminder of the dangers posed by trucks when they are driven recklessly or improperly loaded.

The truck was carrying biosolids from Charlotte to Columbia where the material was due to be disposed in a landfill.

The State reported on how first responders were sent to I-77 at the Exit 90 close to a Kentucky Fried Chicken after the truck fell onto its side at about 10:30 a.m. on June 3.

Crews were able to contain the scene quickly and reported the material posed no health hazard. No injuries were reported at the scene.

However, the incident again illustrates how dump trucks and 18 wheelers can easily tip over, posing a danger to other motorists. The State reported the driver was charged with driving too fast for the conditions. He was driving for a trucking company contracted by Synagro, the residual waste company contracted by the city of Charlotte to dispose of treated human biosolids.

Trucks can tip over if they are driven recklessly or are poorly loaded. The failure to correctly load a truck can also lead to material falling off a truck and posing an obstacle and a hazard to other drivers.

Trucks carried almost 70 percent of the freight tonnage moved in the United States in 2011, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA). Recently a stricter regime has been imposed in an effort to make the industry safer.

Two recent Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiatives have changed the climate for trucking companies, namely the phasing in of the safety monitoring system known as CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability), and the implementation of new Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations for drivers.

CSA was launched in 2010. It is a safety and compliance initiative designed to help identify large trucking companies that are failing to comply with safety rules, so that enforcement officials can intervene.

CSA uses a process called the Safety Measurement System (SMS) to identify freight carriers that might need intervention and help. It uses data collected from roadside inspections, federal motor carrier census and state crash reports, and assigns points for deficiencies in seven areas, known as Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). They are:

  • Unsafe Driving
  • Fatigued Drivers (including violations of Hours-of-Service)
  • Driver Fitness and Health
  • Consumption of Controlled Substances/alcohol
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Cargo-related issues including shifting loads, overloading, and improper handling of hazardous materials
  • Crash Indicator (the frequency and severity of crashes by a carrier)

There are numerous reasons behind trucking accidents in South Carolina. Typically the victims of these crashes suffer more serious injuries than in car crashes and are more likely to lose their lives. If you have been injured by a truck or a loved one has lost their life, call Masella Law at 877.728.37234.