Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Truck carrying cattle crashed after rounding the cloverleaf ramp from Del. 141 to I-295 when it struck an attenuator causing it to overturn

OCTOBER 24, 2016

A tractor trailer carrying cattle crashed at about 9:30 p.m. after rounding the cloverleaf ramp from Del. 141 to I-295. Fifteen cows had to be unloaded before the vehicle could be uprighted. 10/25/16 John J. Jankowski & Damian Giletto

The sounds of moos and hoof steps echoed from the rear of an overturned tractor-trailer Monday night near New Castle.

The truck carrying cattle crashed at about 9:30 p.m. after rounding the cloverleaf ramp from Del. 141 to I-295. As the vehicle was entering the merge lane, it struck an attenuator causing it to overturn, said Cpl. Jeffrey Hale, a spokesman with the Delaware State Police Department.

The accident closed the ramp as well as the merge lane onto the interstate for about six-and-a-half hours, Hale said.

An official with the New Castle County fire board said the accident was cleared at 3:48 a.m.

Fifteen cows were on board on the tractor trailer. The animal were removed from the scene by a pet removal company, Hale said. The condition of the animals was not provided by police.

When the accident occurred, the nose of an aggravated bovine peeked through the gap between the rear doors of the trailer.

The driver of the truck appeared uninjured as he walked around the crash site inspecting his vehicle. He declined to comment on the cause of the crash.

Police cited the driver, a 32-year-old man from Ephrata, Pa., with operating an improperly loaded vehicle, Hale said.

Emergency dispatchers warned of a possible fuel leak from the vehicle, but no liquid fuel was visible and no diesel odor filled the air.

At approximately 10:45 p.m., a large crane truck arrived at the crash site to right the overturned truck.

A total of 23 cows died or were euthanized in 2013 after a truck crashed near the Port of Wilmington.

In September, a tractor-trailer bound for the United States Mint in Philadelphia carrying tens of thousands of pounds of copper disks that were to be stamped into pennies overturned at the I-95, Del. 141 interchange, about a half mile from Monday's crash site.

The Del. 141 interchange is in the middle of a years-long construction project, and the crash site was lined with orange cones and previously closed lanes.

Truck drivers carrying shifting load (like live cattle, sloshing liquid, etc), need to be extra cautious because the truck can accommodate very small g forces, perhaps as low as 0.15g or less.  Basically, a small bump can cause the overturning of the truck, just like what happened in this case.  This is especially true when trucks go around bends, or take exit ramps.