New Taipei City: The driver of a semi-trailer carrying steel girders lost his brakes on a downhill section of Freeway 1, and ran his truck into the outer traffic barrier in order to slow down and stop his truck.
The 42 year-old driver named Yang was traveling on the downhill section between Linkou and Taishan yesterday morning at around 10:00am, when his truck began speeding up. Yang attempted to brake but was unable to slow down the heavily loaded vehicle.
Yang dodged other vehicles as his truck sped up to over 100 kilometers per hour. With other vehicles in front in the outer lane approaching a freeway exit, Yang realized he could not avoid a collision if he couldn’t stop the truck. He then gradually ran the truck into the steel traffic barrier and successfully slowed down and came to a stop.
Some of the 15 I beam steel girders the truck was carrying shifted forward and destroyed the cabin of the truck. Some of the beams pierced the cabin and entered the driver’s compartment on the passenger side, but Yang avoided serious injury.
Police said that Yang is suspected of “improper operation” of the vehicle, and reminded truck drivers that they should shift to lower gear when going downhill. Inspectors are investigating the accident and trying to determine if the truck was overloaded at the time.
The truck destroyed a 127 meter long section of the traffic barrier, for which the driver will be liable. The estimated cost of repair is about NT$130,000.
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