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Who's responsible? Dangerous debris on roads and highways

Posted: 11:38 AM, Sep 06, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-06 20:04:19-04
Who's responsible? Dangerous debris on roads
Who's responsible? Dangerous debris on roads
Who's responsible? Dangerous debris on roads
Who's responsible? Dangerous debris on roads
Who's responsible? Dangerous debris on roads
Who's responsible? Dangerous debris on roads
Who's responsible? Dangerous debris on roads
Who's responsible? Dangerous debris on roads

It can be a dangerous and even deadly situation when overloaded vehicles and unsecured loads dump debris on roadways.

The debris can even be from a tire tread separation, a common sight on highways during the summertime.

It happened to Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Buratczuk in August.

"Luckily it didn't break my window but it was a loud hang on my windshield," said Buratczuk describing a tire tread kicked up by a car on the 215.

"I didn't swerve, I didn't panic," recalled Buratczuk.

"If I would have gone to the left, I would've struck the wall and if I went to the right, there's traffic next to me," he added.

The dash camera caught the piece of tire debris slamming into the windshield at freeway speed. Contact 13 also went on the hunt for vehicles with precariously perched cargo and it did not take long to spot.

We observed vehicles with mattresses stacked on top of each other, a pickup with all sorts of odds and ends, among other dangerous loads.

Authorities say unsecured items can be deadly.

"A motorist was trying to do the right thing, stopped and got out to remove the item from the travel lane, but it actually caused other vehicles to stop," said Buratczuk.

In April 2016, a major crash snarled traffic near U.S. 95 northbound at Las Vegas Boulevard. The crash sent 5 people to the hospital. 

Investigators say a piece of road debris was blamed.

"Drivers are responsible for their vehicles and its contents, so if you're hauling something you are responsible for the load in your vehicle," said Buratczuk.

Authorities say the responsibility extends to rock and dirt hauling trucks.

"If your vehicles does get struck by a rock-hauling truck, and there's a 'not responsible sign' on there -- they are 100 percent responsible for the debris from their vehicle." said Buratczuk.

NHP recommends the following if you see, or are struck by, a piece of road debris:

  • PULL OVER TO A SAFE LOCATION
  • DIAL *NHP ON YOUR CELL PHONE AND PROVIDE AS MUCH DETAIL AS POSSIBLE
  • DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE THE DEBRIS YOURSELF
  • IF DEBRIS IS UNAVOIDABLE, HIT THE OBJECT -- DO NOT SWERVE AND CAUSE A MAJOR ACCIDENT
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