Log truck driver in January freeway pileup cited

jsowell@idahostatesman.comApril 30, 2014 

The remains of a Subaru Forester were crumpled up like a ball following the Jan. 9 freeway pileup just west of the Ten Mile Road exit on Interstate 84 at Meridian.

JOE JASZEWSKI — jjaszewski@idahostatesman.com

Cory D. Ford, 38, was cited last week for inattentive driving for allegedly failing to slow down in heavy fog and sideswiping a tractor-trailer and rear-ending a Subaru Forester on Interstate 84 on Jan. 9, the Idaho State Police reported Wednesday.

The collision involving four other vehicles set off one of many chain-reaction accidents that day. There were a dozen separate accident scenes involving a total of 44 vehicles that blocked westbound freeway traffic for hours.

On the day of the crash, Ford, an Emmett resident, told the Idaho Statesman that a car and a tractor-trailer cut in front of him. He said he felt his truck, loaded with logs, strike a vehicle and then slam into the concrete median.

The day of the pileup, just west of Meridian’s Ten Mile Road overpass, motorists said they hit a wall of fog before 9 a.m. that severely restricted visibility. Traffic had stopped on the freeway because of an earlier accident.

Jose D. Silva Cuellar, 52, of Meridian, the driver of the Subaru, suffered serious injuries. His Subaru eventually was dragged 180 feet down the freeway by the log truck. The vehicle, which rolled several times, resembled nothing but a crumpled ball of metal when it came to a stop. It took rescue workers an hour to remove him from his car.

Silva Cuellar was released after spending several days at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. He has not spoken publicly about the crash.

The 11 other collisions resulted in less serious injuries and vehicle damage. Nine people in addition to Silva Cuellar were treated at local hospitals.

Ford, who works for Brian Wilson Trucking of Emmett, took a blood test after the crash. Toxicology reports came back negative for drugs and alcohol.

Since the crash, Ford has been cited twice for driving with a trailer loaded up to 4,000 pounds overweight, according to state court records. He was found guilty of both charges in Fourth District Ada County Court and fined a total of $368.

In the freeway crash, three other drivers in the 12 incidents were cited for a basic rule violation: driving faster than conditions warrant. Two drivers were cited for moving out of a lane before determining that it was safe to do so. Another two drivers were cited for following too closely and for failing to show proof of insurance.

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