Idaho

Log truck driver in 2014 Meridian freeway smashup tips truck in North Idaho

Reconstructing the 44-vehicle pileup on Interstate 84

A log truck swept up an SUV and dragged it through a series of crashes near Meridian in January 2014. In all, 44 vehicles were involved. At least 7 seven other drivers were cited in the days after the crashes, for speeding, following too closely a
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A log truck swept up an SUV and dragged it through a series of crashes near Meridian in January 2014. In all, 44 vehicles were involved. At least 7 seven other drivers were cited in the days after the crashes, for speeding, following too closely a

Corey D. Ford, 42, of Emmett, was headed west on Grangemont Road outside Orofino on Monday when he fell asleep, he told Clearwater County sheriff’s deputies.

The 1996 Kenworth logging truck, owned by Finke Logging of Orofino, started to go off the road. Ford brought the truck back onto the road but the load shifted and tipped over the trailer, spilling the load of logs, the Sheriff’s Office said in a written release.

No injuries were reported. Ford was cited for inattentive driving. He is scheduled to be arraigned July 24 in Clearwater County Court in Orofino.

In January 2014, Ford was headed west on Interstate 84 near Ten Mile Road in Meridian when a Subaru Forester driven by Jose Silva Cuellar became lodged against Ford’s loaded log truck. The car rolled several times as it was pulled along and resembled a crumpled ball of metal when it came to a stop.

Silva Cuellar was seriously injured.

Altogether, 44 vehicles were involved in a series of crashes at that spot on a road slickened by snow and freezing fog. Ford’s log truck also struck a J.R. Simplot Co. semitrailer.

In that wreck, Ford pleaded guilty to a basic rule violation, driving at a speed greater than what is reasonable and prudent for the conditions. He was fined $93.

Ford and his employer at the time, Brian Wilson Trucking, of Emmett, were sued by Silva Cuellar and by Simplot. In both cases, out-of-court settlements were reached. The terms of those settlements were not publicly revealed.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @IDS_Sowell

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