EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

September 25, 2013

Report: Safety issues with truck in fatal accident

CONCORD (AP) — An inspection report shows a truck and trailer involved in a fatal crash on Interstate 93 last week were in violation of safety codes and should have been taken out of service.

New Hampshire State Police said a wheel flew off the trailer heading south on I-93 in Hooksett last week, hit a northbound police cruiser then bounced back into the southbound lane where it struck another car, killing the driver. Authorities are investigating.

The trailer belongs to the Crawford Homes, based in Houlton, Maine. Police said it was hauling a modular home when the wheel assembly broke free on Sept. 18.

The Concord Monitor reports a Maine State Police inspection shows the truck’s brakes were “inadequate” for safe stopping. They were contaminated with grease and oil and the brake hose on one truck axle was deteriorating as it chafed against another piece of the truck. The report also said that applying the service brake also caused air loss from the brake canister on that same axle.

The trailer’s remaining wheels had improper emergency braking, the report said.

The company didn’t respond to the Monitor’s calls seeking comment. It didn’t immediately return a phone message yesterday.

Before Sept. 18, federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records show Crawford’s six trucks and two drivers had not been involved in an accident in the last two years.

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