Log truck driver killed when brakes fail on steep road

Oregon Case Report:06OR014
Release Date: August 2008

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


On April 19, 2006, a 42-year-old log truck driver was killed when he apparently jumped from his runaway truck after his brakes failed on a steep, narrow gravel road. The driver had less than 1 year of experience operating a semi-truck. Earlier in the day, the driver entered the mill yard with his rear trailer brakes smoking. The trailer air-brake lines had been damaged by dragging on the ground, and he fixed one air line with electrical tape. On the last load of the day, just prior to the incident, the driver stopped on the downhill road to allow another truck to pass. At a subsequent series of S-curves, the driver apparently jumped from his truck when the brakes failed and was run over by the wheels before the truck plunged over a hillside. The victim was found dead at the scene. The truck and trailer, on later inspection, had seven of ten brakes out of adjustment.

Log truck driver killed when brakes fail on steep roadpdf icon [PDF 196 KB]

Page last reviewed: November 18, 2015