CDL instructor explains safety steps before trips after Tooele’s semitruck crash

Nov 6, 2023, 6:14 PM | Updated: Nov 7, 2023, 8:34 am

TOOELE — The aftermath of the fiery semitruck in Tooele on Friday continues to raise multiple questions, including safety concerns in the trucking industry.

Over the weekend, Tooele police revealed the driver was a 26-year-old man who sustained minor injuries. A total of 33 cars were hit, and 11 people were injured, including a 67-year-old woman who remains in critical condition and is expected to survive.

Local commercial driver’s license instructor Hayden Stroh said there are measures in place to ensure accidents like the one that happened are prevented. He stressed the importance of thorough training that potential drivers undergo, including safety precautions and truck inspections.

“We teach them the pre-trip, to be able to go through the vehicle, what to inspect and how to inspect it,” Stroh said.

‘I closed my eyes and prayed’: Tooele crash victims describe semi barreling toward them

He said this inspection is done once or twice a day to make sure the vehicle is working correctly before a driver gets behind the wheel.

Stroh said that depending on the driver, it could take three to four weeks in a driving school for someone to obtain a CDL license. During training, drivers are taught how to navigate different scenarios and the importance of safe braking techniques.

Tooele police believe brake failure may be to blame for the fiery crash, although the exact cause remains under investigation.

While Stroh can’t speak on how and what went wrong, he says there are safety measures built in to prevent things like this from happening.

“These systems are set up to have dead man-style switches where if there’s not something, it won’t work,” he said.

Stroh emphasized accidents like these rarely happen and hopes this incident does not cast a bad light on all CDL drivers.

“This happens maybe once every four or five years like a big accident and this guy mitigated a lot of the damage…that versus passing new laws and regulations that make it harder may not be the best answer,” Stroh said,

Tooele police said the Utah Highway Patrol is assisting in the investigation and conducted an inspection on the truck. Specific details in the findings have not been released.

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CDL instructor explains safety steps before trips after Tooele’s semitruck crash