The Minnesota State Patrol stated this week that the driver whose unsecured load caused a motorcyclist to wreck on I-94 near Lake Elmo in Minnesota came forward and is cooperating with police.
The MN state patrol reported that the driver, 35 year old Kyle Gunderson from Menominee WI, contacted the police after he realized that a roll of water carpet that fell of the back of his boat on the interstate caused the motorcyclist behind him to crash. The Youtube video of the incident has gone viral.
The motorcyclist attempted to avoid the water carpet but he drove over it, which caused both he and his motorcycle to sail into the air at high speed. The biker was thrown off and rolled along the pavement for at least 150 feet. Fortunately, he was wearing a helmet and a leather jacket, so the only injuries he had were road rash and overall stiffness.
State law in Minnesota as well as most states requires that all loads of vehicles and trailers to be properly secured. The MN state patrol stated that it has issued almost 1000 improper load citations in 2016. They added that a 20 pound object hitting a vehicle at 55 MPH has the impact of 1000 pounds.
They recommended the following tips for securing a load:
- Do not use twine or cheap rope to secure a load.
- Ratchet straps are highly recommended.
- If you are towing a boat, they recommend covering the boat so objects do not fly out.
- If you are moving objects in an open trailer, it should be covered with tarp.
We are relieved that this motorcyclist did not suffer serious injuries from this dangerous, unsecured load incident in Minnesota. As a personal injury attorney in Virginia and North Carolina, I want to stress that haulers are liable for property damage, injuries and deaths from unsecured loads.
There have been cases in Virginia where an unsecured load led to terrible injuries, and a $20 million settlement.
Anyone who has suffered injuries due to an unsecured load has a potential personal injury lawsuit, and should speak with a qualified attorney immediately.