Witnesses Say Truck Driver Died A Hero in Big Rig Crash Caused By Brake Failure
Pierce County, WA – A truck driver hauling a load of crushed vehicles is being hailed as a hero after tragically perishing in a crash caused by brake failure.
The fatal accident occurred Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. in Tacoma.
According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD), the 45-year-old truck driver, who’s identity has yet to be released, was driving northbound on Waller Road East and navigating a downhill slope when the truck’s brakes failed.
PCSD said the driver was successful in avoiding several cars as he continued down the hill and passed through the stop light located at the intersection of Pioneer Way East and Waller Road.
The driver passed through the intersection and entered the parking lot of a warehouse.
The truck driver then turned to avoid hitting the warehouse, but the semi-truck “tipped over” in the process and slid into another trailer parked at the loading dock.
It collided with the building before coming to rest.
Sadly, the driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
Commercial vehicle enforcement officers from the Washington State Patrol inspected the truck and confirmed that some of the brakes were defective and the driver could not stop, PCSD reported.
Imagery from Google Maps reveal the warehouse where the incident occurred was that of Emerald Home Furnishings, located at 3025 Pioneer Way E.
Officials reported traffic was not impacted from the incident and there were no further injuries.
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PCSD posted the incident to social media Monday afternoon and received thousands of reactions, shares and comments, many of which hailed the driver a hero for his skillful maneuver of the big rig during the equipment failure emergency.
“As a professional driver that is one of the scariest things to ever have to deal with failing brakes,” Kurt Meek wrote. “He is a real hero for looking for escape routes for the least amount of damage sacrificing his own life to save others.”
“He died a hero saving all the other drivers,” Tina Harder agreed.
Kristal Simpson said her husband, Matt, witnessed the accident and gave a sad description of how the event unfolded.
“My husband was at the light there, waiting to turn left onto Pioneer,” Simpson wrote. “This driver absolutely did everything he could to avoid others, from what my husband told police. And I am forever grateful for his actions. Sadly, when my husband and a few others ran to help, they could not even find the driver, the truck’s cab was so crushed.”
The incident remains under investigation.