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Farm driver overturns truck in irrigation ditch and drowns.

NIOSH 2006 Jan; :1-4
On October 11, 2003, a 20-year-old Hispanic farm truck driver was killed when his truck full of potatoes overturned in an irrigation ditch at the edge of a farm field. The driver had been driving the potato truck for 2 weeks prior to the accident. The incident occurred about 9:30 p.m., 13 hours after the driver began work in the morning of his sixth full day in a row. Weather was windy and overcast. The 1970 truck had no seat belts. Traveling an estimated 15-25 mph on a hard-packed dirt road, the truck verged into the loose soil at the edge of the ditch, and continued off the road until the vehicle overturned and came to rest with the cab submerged in the water in the ditch. The water was 4-7 ft. deep. Another driver passing along the same road noticed the victim's truck overturned in the ditch and alerted the foreman. First responders called a dive team to the scene to remove the body. Cause of death was probably drowning. The medical examiner reported the victim's blood-alcohol level at 0.03 percent. Recommendations: 1. While driving along an abrupt edge, keep your eyes on the road at all times. If distracted, even momentarily, stop the vehicle. 2. Do not use alcohol during or immediately prior to work hours. 3. Employers and employees should be alert to the hazards of fatigue due to extended work hours.
Region-10; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Safety-education; Work-operations; Drivers; Truck-drivers; Substance-abuse; Alcoholic-beverages; Fatigue
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-03OR033; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-021204; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008324; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008472
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Oregon Department of Human Services