Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Driver in Ohio fatal says truck sped up by itself


Monday, February 1, 2010
Members of the Springfield Twp. and Harmony Fire Departments rescue one of several victims trapped in a special needs bus from the Creative Learning Workshop, Thursday, Jan. 7, on Interstate 70 in Clark County, Ohio. The bus collided head-on with a semi-truck carrying a tanker trailer. (AP Photo/Springfield News-Sun, Bill Lackey)
Members of the Springfield Twp. and Harmony Fire Departments rescue one of several victims trapped in a special needs bus from the Creative Learning Workshop, Thursday, Jan. 7, on Interstate 70 in Clark County, Ohio. The bus collided head-on with a semi-truck carrying a tanker trailer. (AP Photo/Springfield News-Sun, Bill Lackey)

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — The driver of a tractor-trailer that hit a bus carrying residents of a special needs center in Ohio, killing four, told investigators the truck began speeding up by itself before the accident.

Zygmunt Wieckowski also said in a report released Friday by the Ohio State Highway Patrol that the truck had started moving from side to side before he began hitting the brake.

"I immediately started braking little by little when I saw my truck going to the left," he told investigators. "I shouted, 'God, no — no accident please!'"

Wieckowski, 59, of Chicago, told patrol investigators there were no mechanical problems with the truck and that he was the only person who ever drove it. He said the truck's cruise control was turned off at the time of the accident and he felt fine that day.

"I wasn't tired," he said. "I was well rested."

Wieckowski told investigators he was going 40 to 45 mph before the accident. An initial report released earlier this month says Wieckowski was speeding when he lost control of the truck just before the Jan. 7 accident.

The truck slid across Interstate 70 near Springfield and into oncoming traffic, hitting the van.

Wieckowski, who was treated at a hospital after the accident and released, said Saturday he couldn't comment. He told investigators he had already delivered a load of chemicals to a business in Circleville south of Columbus, and had made the same trip from Chicago and back two days earlier.

The crash killed the driver of the bus and three adults among nearly a dozen being driven to a special needs center where they lived.

The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at editor@thetrucker.com.

 

 

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