A freak accident at a Love’s Travel Center truck stop in Blacksburg, South Carolina left a Florida man dead. On the morning of November 1, he was pinned between his own pickup truck and a semi-truck, unlocking a new fear we didn’t know was even possible.
According to multiple reports, 29-year-old John Victor Vanslytman was working on his pickup truck, which you can see in the included image. The man was on top of a six-foot ladder making repairs when a semi-truck that had just entered the parking lot was trying to make a turn and pinned Vanslytman between the two vehicles.
We can’t imagine the pain and fear Vanslytman endured for however long her survived the ordeal. When EMS and firefighters arrived they attempted to revive the man but he subsequently pronounced dead. An autopsy is planned.
Working on a vehicle in a parking lot has always made us uncomfortable and now we know why. All it takes is another car or truck hitting yours and you could be done. And with the way we see people tear through parking lots, we wouldn’t risk it unless absolutely necessary.
With a truck and trailer, it’s especially hard to see if you’re getting too close to another vehicle in close quarters. Stil, a commercial driver with experience should be aware of how much room their rig needs to make a turn.
Vanslytman’s heavy-duty pickup had a trailer on a fifth wheel hitch, so it looks like he was pulling a substantial load. It’s possible he experienced some difficulty and decided to make simple repairs on the Love’s parking lot, a decision which sadly cost him his life.
At the risk of sounding paranoid, we have to ask if perhaps it’s a good idea to put out cones or reflective triangles well away from your vehicle before working on it in a parking lot? Before this we probably would’ve mocked someone for doing so and made some joke about OSHA, but it might not be a bad idea after all.
Image via WYFF