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Truck Driver Struck by Rear Tractor Tires When Semi Tractor Driven Forward, Michigan

Michigan Case Report: 14MI122
Release Date: April 25, 2018


In late fall 2014, a truck driver in his 50s died when he was struck and run over by the passenger side tires of a 2011 International semi-tractor while positioned in a blind spot on the passenger side of the cab. The incident occurred at night. The incident occurred in a staging area lit by four lights attached to the building. Several of the decedent’s coworkers were on site, working together to quickly move trucks and associated tankers in and out of a designated staging area at a dairy due to a procedural change imposed on the company by the dairy. One of the decedent’s coworkers (Coworker 1) was assisting the 2011 International truck driver. Coworker 1 was positioned on the driver’s side of the tractor cab unhooking the trailer. He also acted as a spotter during both the backing and forward movement of the tractor-tanker unit. The decedent was positioned on the passenger side of the semi-tractor and was lowering the landing gear down while the Coworker 1 unhooked the hoses, electrical and other connections from the tractor and tanker. When the trailer was unhooked and landing gear lowered, Coworker 1 saw the decedent standing away from the tractor and signaled the semi-tractor driver to back the tractor to disconnect from the tanker. The driver backed the tractor and felt the tanker shift and come off the truck. Coworker 1 did not see the decedent prior to signaling the tractor driver to drive forward. The semi-tractor driver checked his mirrors and looked out his windows. He drove forward to disengage the trailer. As the driver drove forward, the Coworker 1 walked around to the rear of the tractor and saw the decedent lying on the ground. Subsequent investigation showed that the decedent was standing between the passenger side cab, behind the muffler unit and in front of the rear dual tires. As the driver moved forward to disengage the tractor from the tanker, the decedent was struck and run over by the passenger side rear tires.

MIFACE identified the following key and possibly contributing factors:

  • Unexpected change of tanker delivery and tanker holding schedule at dairy site
  • More than one individual unhooking a trailer
  • Insufficient communication between workers
  • Decedent wearing dark clothing
  • Working at night

Truck Driver Struck by Rear Tractor Tires When Semi Tractor Driven Forward, Michigan [PDF 360 KB]