A flatbed driver was killed in Louisiana on Monday when a heavy load he was transporting on a trailer came loose and smashed into the trailer cab.
Jason Gilbert, 52, of Gray, Louisiana, was pronounced dead at the scene of the single-vehicle accident, which occurred just after 8:30 a.m. on U.S. Highway 90 and Bayou Gauche Road, about 30 miles west of New Orleans, authorities said.
“The trailer was carrying a heavy load and as the [tractor-trailer] approached the Louisiana 306 intersection, it slowed for a red light. As it came to a stop, the heavy load on the trailer shifted, causing the straps to break and the load to move forward, into the cab,” a release from the Louisiana State Police (LSP) stated.
Police said the flatbed trailer was hauling pile driving equipment. Gilbert was wearing a seat belt, and results of a toxicology test, required in all fatal crashes, are pending, LSP said.
LSP did not state specifically whether Gilbert’s load was improperly secured, but said “an unsecured load can be just as dangerous as any other roadway hazard.”
“Louisiana state law requires the load of a vehicle to be securely fastened to prevent it from becoming loose, detached or a risk to other highway users,” LSP said. “Taking just a few extra minutes to check the securement of a load could prevent tragedy.”
In January, a flatbed truck driver was killed near San Diego when a load of heavy sheet metal piling he was transporting shifted and crashed through the cab. The driver’s name has not been released.