At around 1 a.m. October 4, a truck driver entered a Vons supermarket parking lot in Echo Park, California. The driver was attempting to return to the street, and either made a hard U-turn or a loop through the parking lot.
In the action of turning the truck around, the trailer ran over a stack of boxes. Inside one of the boxes was a homeless woman.
A case of the wrong place at the wrong time
Local police said the woman was approximately 30 years old and her identity has not yet been disclosed. Witnesses said the woman was dragged approximately 50 feet before onlookers stopped the driver.
“My perception is that the truck driver was in a state of shock. He didn’t wake up to kill anyone. It’s an unfortunate accident.”LAPD Detective Juan Campos to CBS-LA
The trucker has cooperated with police and is not being investigated, as the incident is being treated as an accident. Police say no drugs or alcohol appear to be involved in the incident.
For some companies, U-turns may lead to termination
Of the mega-carriers I have worked for, all of them listed a U-turn as an act that would lead to instant termination. They can and will fire you without a second thought.
Most of those carriers cite the loss of vision as you rotate the truck as the justification. The massive blind spot that is created is a favorite target for attorneys in civil cases.
Drivers should, if at all possible, make a trip around the block to get back to a highway. If no other options are available, calling for police assistance is better than causing an accident.