North Carolina Truck Crash Involving Unhitched Trailer Claims Life of Teacher

October 19, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A second grade teacher was killed in a Pitt County motor vehicle crash last week when her car was struck by a trailer that became detached from a truck. Lisa Langemann, a Bethel School second grade teacher, sustained her fatal on October 12. Her two daughters, ages 8 and 1 month, survived the North Carolina truck accident.

State troopers have charged truck driver John Ross with death by motor vehicle. His trailer hitch reportedly lacked key safety components.

Under North Carolina law, the vehicle that’s towing needs to be able to control what is being towed. The first requirement for towing is that there is a safety pin to lock the trailer hitch to the rear of the motor vehicle that will be towing it. The second requirement is that safety chains be used. The troopers say that the truck that Ross was driving lacked the appropriate safety chains.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 15,211 people died in traffic crashes involving passenger vehicles towing trailers between 1975 and 2008. A USA Today article published earlier this year reported that more than one person a day dies in motor vehicle collisions that occurred because an improperly secured trailer had broken loose and collided with traffic.

Charges filed in accident that killed 2nd grade teacher, WNCT, October 13, 2010

State laws target safety of towed trailers, USA Today, July 5, 2010

Related Web Resources:

North Carolina Department of Transportation