Runaway double-bottom semi takes out 33 cars as it barrels into dealership

Havoc was wreaked on several Utah intersections on November 3 when a double-bottom dump truck lost its brakes. With no way to stop, the semi careened through an intersection, taking out several cars before plowing into a Ford/Chrysler dealership and catching fire. 

According to KSL News, 33 vehicles including the semi truck were involved in the crash in Tooele, Utah. Eleven people were injured, one critically. That individual was airlifted to a Salt Lake City hospital. 

The semi was a double-bottom dump truck, meaning it consisted of two trailer beds connected in tandem. The truck was full of gravel, contributing to the considerable momentum when its brakes failed.

The truck first took out three cars as it barreled through the intersection at W Vine St. and S Main St. Then it crashed into two more as it crossed W 400 N and Main. Finally, it left the road, and came to rest after damaging 27 cars at Tooele Ford, a dealership 1½ miles from the site of the first collision. Stopped cars popped skyward like toys, and the truck caught fire as it hurtled toward the dealership. Witnesses told KSL they heard multiple explosions.

In video, the semi’s driver looked like they at least attempted to steer the truck away from cars that were completely stopped at intersections. It crossed the center median of Main St. at least once, in order to avoid rear ending a group of stopped cars waiting at a traffic signal. The semi driver was not seriously injured.

Drivers involved in the crash told KSL there was little they could do but brace for impact. “I’ve never seen an accident like that,” said Sgt Jeremy Hansen, one of the officers who responded to the crash. Police have confirmed that the truck’s brakes had failed. Seeing the wreckage left in its trail, it could have been a lot worse. 

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