Officials urge people to secure loads after woman is injured while attempting to hold down mattress

Jun 6, 2024, 12:13 PM | Updated: 5:26 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The day before getting married, a Utah bride-to-be found herself getting patched up after getting thrown from the bed of a truck going 50 miles per hour while trying to transport a mattress.

On Thursday, which is also “National Secure Your Load Day,” the couple spoke about their experience on why everyone should secure their loads.

One day before their wedding, Alex and Lydia Kessinger were attempting to transport a king-size mattress to their new home. In order to prevent the mattress from flying away during travel, Lydia Kessinger laid on top of the mattress in the truck bed.

“We were kind of in a time crunch,” Alex Kessinger said.

However, while traveling 50 mph on State Street in Provo, the mattress, with Lydia Kessinger still on top of it, flew up from the truck bed and landed in the middle of the road.

“After we took off, just a couple of seconds later, and I just remember flying out,” Lydia Kessinger said.

Lydia Kessinger was able to avoid being hit by oncoming traffic, and reached the side of the road despite suffering severe road rash in her fall.

“I see the mattress falling down, and I see my fiancé rolling down the street,” Alex Kessinger said.

Lydia Kessinger took a trip to the hospital to get patched up, followed by a trip to the dentist; the next day, they still tied the knot.

“I’m just happy she married to me. Still after that!” Alex Kessinger said.

“It was perfect because if it was any warmer, I would have been in a lot of pain because it was like legit burns,” Lydia Kessinger said.

June 6 is National Secure Your Load Day and the Utah Department of Transportation and the Utah Department of Public Safety are urging drivers to secure any objects they transport.

As of June 4, the Department of Public Safety said there have been more than 230 unsecured load related crashes.

UHP said they receiveapproximately 70 calls every day and 25,000 calls per year for road debris.

“I’ve seen hot tubs out on the roads. I’ve seen…construction material is a common thing. I’d say one of the things we see the most is ladders out there on the highway. People think, ‘This is a heavy object. It’s gonna stay in the car.’ It catches that wind. It sails out there on the road,” Sgt. Cameron Roden with Utah Highway Patrol said.

Six weeks later, the couple reflected on their decision to not use straps or other means to secure their mattress. 

“I wasn’t thinking. If you have something in the back of your truck and you don’t strap it down: You’re not thinking. Because if you thought, you’d strap it down because it’s the easiest answer to the question, ‘Should you strap it in? Yes,'” Alex Kessinger said.

UDOT said to add extra layers of protection to your load by adding a net or even a tarp.

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Officials urge people to secure loads after woman is injured while attempting to hold down mattress