Special to SEGAZINE
The tractor-trailer set off at 2:30 a.m. from Springfield, Mo., the usual time and place. Nearly 11 hours later, along the Will Rogers Turnpike in Oklahoma, fatigue caught up.
At mile marker 321.5, near the town of Miami, the semi plowed into a line of cars stopped on the highway. Ten people were killed. The 76-year-old truck driver, who survived, had probably fallen asleep, federal investigators later concluded.
What is remarkable about these events, which took place five years ago this month, is how common such accidents are. For decades, federal authorities have tried to ensure that truck drivers get adequate rest. But in a business that lives by the clock, miles mean money. Commercial truck operators have resisted, arguing, in effect, that Washington cannot regulate sleep.