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Truck Driver Struck by Semi-Tractor When Walking in Parking Lot

Michigan Case Report: 09MI085


In the fall of 2009, a 52-year-old male truck driver, wearing a Class II reflective vest died when he was struck by a double-axle gravel train (2002 Peterbuilt tractor, empty dump trailer and pup) as he was walking to his parked truck located in the second row of trucks parked along the west fence in the rear of the parking lot. The parking lot was dark and inadequately lit because two corner pole lights located at each corner end at the rear of the parking lot were not functional. There was one white mercury vapor lamp functional; the light was located behind the open parking space to be used for the gravel train. The parking area was located west of the maintenance shop and had two wide driveways located at its north and south to provide access to the lot. There were two truck rows with a large open area between them. The driver of the Peterbilt was a truck mechanic who had a suspended driver’s license and did not have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). He was driving the recently repaired gravel train from the maintenance shop, utilizing the north driveway, to park the vehicle two spaces to the north of the decedent’s parked vehicle. The semi-tractor’s amber/running lights were on but the tractor’s headlights were turned off. The mechanic drove past the open parking space, turned the truck around in the wide open area, and headed back to the open parking space. As he began to make his turn into the open space, the driver’s side of the tractor struck the decedent (See Figure 1). Emergency response was called and the decedent was declared dead at the scene.

Truck Driver Struck by Semi-Tractor When Walking in Parking Lot [PDF 489 KB]