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Safety Alert: Forester Escapes Injury From Flying Wrench

A truck kicked up a large, open-ended wrench that probably had fallen from a contractor’s work truck. The wrench impacted the front windshield on the driver’s side of forster traveling on the road.

By Staff
Date Posted: 3/1/2010


            On a clear, sunny summer day in the Appalachians, a forester was driving back to his office on a primary, two-lane state highway.

Personal Characteristics

            The 52-year-old forester had over 28 years of driving experience and no significant accidents or injuries on his record. 

Unsafe Condition

            The forester was alert to oncoming traffic and focused on the road when he noticed that the truck coming toward him had kicked up a foreign object that was closing fast toward his windshield.  It was a large, open-ended wrench that probably had fallen from a contractor’s work truck or perhaps had been carelessly placed on a farmer’s tractor before falling onto the road bed.


            The forester had no time to brake or swerve, and his only recourse was to lean across the seat of his pickup truck.  Within seconds of seeing the object, the wrench impacted the front windshield on the driver’s side.  The windshield shattered, sending shards of glass throughout the cab, with the wrench lodging in the glass itself.


            The forester was unsure exactly what had just happened, but managed to put the brakes on and steer his truck to the shoulder of the road.  After gaining his composure, he saw the heavy, large wrench “frozen” in time in his windshield.  The interior of the truck cab was filled with small pieces of sharp windshield glass.  He was fortunate not to have been cut by any of the glass, but he found glass in his ears, hair, down his shirt, and about everywhere else, except his eyes.


            Anyone who carries tools in open work trucks or anywhere else should make sure that they are secured before traveling to their next destination.    Foresters and loggers typically drive thousands of miles annually on rural highways.  Stay focused on the road, and do not allow cell phone calls, conversations with passengers, checking maps, day-dreaming, etc. to disrupt concentration and reaction time while driving.  Pull off the road to a safe location when in doubt about your ability to concentrate—a moment of inattention can mean the difference between life and death.

            Source: Forest Resources Assn.              







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