My name is Jamie and I am a former independent contractor for CR England. I had a major accident that almost killed me on the job on Feb. 25th, 2007 in Nevada. I had to be extracated from the truck. I almost got killed that day. I had only been drivng for 20 minutes that whole day but anyway here's my report.
Here's one half of the story is that I myself like many chose to lease a brand new truck under the pretenses that new truck no problems compared to used trucks right?
Wrong, the first day I got my truck I already had an electrical problem with my passenger side turn signal lamp I had a short in it. 2 Days later I was driving through the worst rain storm I had ever driven through. And all of the sudden I felt a couple of drop fall on me (all windows closed) I thought nothing of it until after an hour after the first drops, an hour later I had a puddle on my dash. About 2 weeks later I went to turn my CB on and I got no juice in it, I had no power to it. the wires in the back had died or something. I took matters into my own hands and ghetto rigged it to my 12-volt power supply with a new plug. About 2 weeks after that I was at the Hershey Factory in Hershey, PA and I had a load to pick up a loaded trailer, so I drop my empty as instructed and hook (or at least try to) my new trailer and the trip was totally doomed, my fifth wheel refused to hook. I spent a week there because of that. Another 2 weeks goes by and I feel ok about it so I'm hauling pork down to Houston, TX after waiting 13 hours for my load, I had to pull over and take a nap. It was kind of cold so I thought ok, I'm going to turn on the auxilary heater because I didn't want to idle my rig. So I lay down and it ain't but 5 minutes later, I'm shutting that sucker off and running out of my truck because of this burning plastic smell. 3 Weeks after that happened a shop finally got me in and while tracing the smell the mechanic decided to pop the hood and there yet was another problem, I had a power steering hose that was about to bust, my truck had 18,000 miles on it at that point. So after that a month goes by and I'm thinking to myself "yay no more stupid breakdowns", and on top of that it's halloween no less. I'm in the walmart DC in McCarran, NV. I had been on dedicated for about 2 weeks. so I get sent my next run and I go to look at my truck, check it over real good and there is the next stupid thing, I had an oil leak. That time I had 28,000 miles on the truck and I knew I would have to be in the shop the next week anyway so I told the shop "go ahead and do a PM as well so I'm not wasting anymore of my time next week". it turns out some how some way my oil filter had come loose. So barely 2 weeks go by and here's the next one. I had a triple stopper load, one drop in Marysville, CA, Yuba City, CA, and Susanville, CA. I don't even make it to the dock at my first drop when all of the sudden I lost all of my oil pressure. I found out the next afternoon that my oil filter had blown off the housing because Freightliner didn't do the work right the first time. I got lucky and had no problems with my truck for 2 months. The next problem I had was a little over 2 months later, similar to the one on halloween but with a twist. this time along with that I had an axle hub leaking at the same time. some I take my truck to the shop and this time same thing waste my time now so I don't have to next week anyway. Turns out that I had to wait for a new axle hub and my truck still a baby to the road at 58,000 and some change on it. So ok I chill til the part gets to the shop. Get the hub slapped on and go back to the yard just to get told you're off the rest of the day go chill, get out and do something. Ok I do.
Well here's the other half, this is about my accident (what CR England claims what happened). About 12:30 in the afternoon my now ex-friend Rita came and woke me up to tell me that my load was ready. I got up did my thing left the yard about an hour later (give or take 15 minutes.) About 1:45PM I left the yard to go to Pahrump, NV. 2:00PM I stop to get fuel, snowing off and on all morning nobody wants to go over Donner Pass so it took me a half hour to get my provisions and get going. I left the truck stop at 3 PM and I supposedly fall asleep behind the wheel of my truck (which I know doesn't happen 5 minutes after being out in the cold for an extended period of time). 5 minutes after I left the truckstop I crashed my whole entire rig into 2 sets of dropped gravel trailers. I came to about 45 minutes later to being extracated from my truck.
Here is what I remeber really happening now 6 months later after months of my own investigation and recollection. This whole thing is similar from the paragraph above except on how the crash happened. I absolutely did not fall asleep behind the wheel. At a bout 3:05 pm I remember just driving down the road just like anyother day, fresh hot food, full bottle of Diet Pepsi in the cup holder and a full mug of coffee just like anyother trucker and everyday before this day in peticular.
Now, you have to remember that I am literally remembering everything slowly so bare with me. Since I'm only 5'3" and short I had to keep my coffee mug on the floor in my truck due to the size of it. I had started to reach down for my coffee mug when all of the sudden my truck just takes a six inch jump in the air on my side of the truck and crashes back down on the ground and it actually sucked me into the gear shifter. I had hit my head and hit hard enough to knock me out. 2 seconds later there goes the tire and I barely remeber hearing go "pop". I got sucked into the steering wheel after that and that really knocked me out. my truck veered to the left, went off road and into the trailers I went. this all happened in a matter of 10-15 seconds.
When I came two about 45 minutes later I thought that I was still driving when in all actuallity I wasn't. I was trapped in my truck, slumped over the steering wheel, being told "don't move, don't move, you were in an accident". I said "oh hell no!" and after that I looked down for a second and I saw my left leg trapped. I tried to get up and the paramedics, cops and fire department said "no, don't get up, we'll get you out here in the next few minutes". next thing after I was freed from my truck about an hour after I crashed I was screaming so loud in the helicopter in so much pain that they just about overdosed me on morphine. I get to the hospitaland don't even remember all of the tests that were run on me other than a full body cat scan and a full body x-ray. I remember getting stitches when I woke up that night. I didn't really remember anything else due to the morphine. I found out where my stiches were and why.
I had stitches in my lower lip from a laceration, I had a piece of glass pulled out of my lower left leg so I had stitches for that. Otherwise I had scrapes, cuts, bruises, knots and areas of accumulated fluid almost all over my entire body. I was literally black and blue all over from it all and in a lot of pain. When I had talked to safety with them they were not supposed to take my word for anything due to being under the influence of narcotic pain relievers. I was under the influence of morphine when I had talked to the safety department at CR England at that time which happened to be in my hospital bed. My friend and fellow driver Mark Kolenda was right there when I had talked to everybody and when I got the pain meds. He was also there when the nurse had given me a dose of morphine about 20 minutes before an officer from the Nevada Highway patrol came in to 1 see how I was doing and to tell me he was impressed with my log book and also that no one has ever came out of my accident alive ever in that small little town of Fernley, NV where it happened and for 2 he also wanted my version of what happened. I only wrote down what I could remember at the time and that was I was reaching down for something and the next thing I knew I was being extracated from my truck.
I got lucky that I even got away with a $107 fine and a 1 point slap on the wrist for it. Due to my statement at the time the accident was placed as being my fault.
I didn't get home until after tax time but on my way home I made sure my friend Mark and I stopped at the terminal to take care of some things and st a few days before I started noticing some fishy things depicted in a picture of my truck and that I started to notice that my truck is sitting on center blocks and that the passenger side steer tire was still on and the driver side steer tire was gone. I thought hmmm something is fishy. so I do the accident hearing and I know deep down in my gut that my safety manager Larry Luke is sitting there telling me a complete lie about what had happened. He sat there and terminated me for falling asleep behind the wheel when I had a police report that said otherwise.
But anyway I have had nothing but complications since the accident in my recovery. I now can barely walk on my left leg due to chronic knee pain, I had my first seizure in my life on July 15, 2007 directly related to the head injury from the accident, my right knee is starting to get so bad that somedays I can't walk at all because it has been the only good leg that I can walk on for the longest time, I'm in a constant daze all the time, and now a lot of the time when I try now to sit down and relax sometimes, I sit there and I sit there just shaking for no apparent reason and this is an almost everyday thing. I just now started to recieve my workman's compensation benefits 6 months after the fact. But the thing is I have been so sick for so long since that I don't know if I can even live with this anymore. I really would like for an attourney to see this and would appreciate som help in this matter. I do have more on CR England on top of all of the above than what I can remember and put down for right now.
Royal Oak, Michigan
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