Firefighters struck by trailer on highway

Fire chief says the two fighters were "ok"

A PAIR of firefighters in America were struck at speed by a U-Haul trailer while responding to a roadside accident — and, remarkably, have lived to tell the tale.

The two members of the Stringtown Fire Department were by the side of the road at the scene of an accident when they were hit by the trailer, being towed by the driver of a black SUV who had lost control in wet conditions.

The dash cam footage recorded by Oklahoma Highway Patrol and released by the fire department chief, shows the trailer swung with enough force to knock both men across the grassy verge. The video also shows the firefighter to the left attempt to push his colleague out of the way of the oncoming wagon.

Incredibly, despite being struck with great force, the two firefighters weren’t seriously injured in the incident. Both men were “ok” after the crash, according to police, and didn’t sustain any broken bones in the incident. The slab-sided shape of the trailer may be to thank for that.

The authorities didn’t speculate as to how or why the driver of the trailer-towing SUV managed to spin on what appears to be a relatively quiet stretch of road, though the footage clearly shows the road was very wet. Judging by the wiper blades on the car from which the incident was filmed, it was still raining at the time of the crash.

Aquaplaning could have be a cause, therefore, and the driver may have been distracted by the previous incident, though as the police have called for all drivers to slow down and drive safely when the road surface is slippery, it appears the motorist was also going too quickly for the conditions. Often, speed is a factor in accidents, and the loss of control may have been amplified by the pendulum effect of the trailer. Highways England advises not to brake when a trailer begins to fishtail, but instead to ease off the accelerate and allow the speed to drop.

While this accident happened in America, figures show Brits are not exactly the standard bearers of how to keep control when the heavens open. Full figures for 2018 aren’t available at the time of writing, though data for 2017 reveals 32,670 accidents last year occurred on wet roads — a whisker over a quarter (25.1%) of the 129,982 reported accidents that took place.

The car crash in Oklahoma is also the latest in a spate of incidents involving towing drivers that have made headlines recently. Last month, Highways England urged motorists to ensure their caravans, horse boxes and wagons were properly secured after a runaway trailer caused a five-mile traffic jam on a stretch of the M25 in Kent.

Earlier in August, police officers in Queensland, Australia released dash cam footage that showed the moment the driver of a caravan-towing Mitsubishi 4×4 lost control while overtaking another vehicle, and ended up crashing upside down on the side of the road.

Credit: Oklahoma Highway Patrol via Storyful

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