Indiana truck driver treated and released in I-74 accident

Indiana truck driver treated and released in I-74 accident

OGDEN — An Indiana truck driver was injured in a single vehicle accident just east of Ogden early Friday.

Illinois State Police at Pesotumm said Gary A. Minatel, 56, of Plainfield, Ind., was driving east on Interstate 74 when his semitrailer tractor truck left the road, crossed through the median and the westbound lanes of the highway before coming to rest on its side in a field.

Minatel was treated and released for his injuries at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. The accident happened just before 2 a.m.

Minatel was ticketed for improper lane usage. Police said he was wearing a seat belt.


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illini_trucker wrote on October 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

i see the new DOT regulations are working well!!! (sarcasm..)

just_wondering wrote on October 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Another truck accident that I don't think made the paper was about a week and a half ago. Driver says they fell asleep. This was about 6:30am on Illinois 47 southbound about 4 miles north of Mahomet. He woke up just in time to avoid hitting a southbound teenager who was stopped waiting for traffic to clear to turn left. Truck took the ditch at high speed and ended up wrecked and blocking the road. Luckily the truck hit no one. What is going on with these trucks driving off the road?

Shadow wrote on October 19, 2012 at 10:10 pm
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Well, let's go back about 20 -25 years back when the federal government determined that they needed to increase the nations "Over-The-Road" trucking force. They made the horrifying decision that "Anybody" can be taught to drive a truck... how hard can it be ?

In doing so, the government started funding "Truck Driving" schools. Yup ! YOU can learn to drive the "BIG RIGS" in just 3 weeks... thats THREE WEEKS !!!

Get rich and live the American dream, be a truck driver and see the country from a windshield.


In all honesty, yes there has been an increasing need for qualified drivers, but you can't take any tom, dick and/or harriot of the street and teach them to drive a rig that weighs 80,000 lbs,  navigate the United States, and teach them how to manage their own bodies and sleep habits. Manage their own bodies and sleep habits, that sounds simple... don't we all do this everyday ? Not hardly.

A truck driver is allowed to be on duty for a total of 14 consecutive hours in any 24 hour period. During that time (the 14 hours) they are allowed to drive a total of 11 hours. What most people don't understand is that an average truck driver may spend up to 8 - 10 hours per day performing duties such as contacting dispatch, getting load information, waiting to load, loading, unloading, hooking up to their trailer, unhooking their trailer, moving trailers around the lot (special favors for the dispatcher or whoever), and inspecting their equipment. I have personally spent as many as 8 hours just tarping a load of machinery. Do you think that I was allowed to "call it a day" afterwards... no way!

I still had to drive some 500 or more miles by the following morning.

A driver has to train himself to stave of tiredness, and push on into the night. You can't make any money working ordinary "physical" labor today and waiting until tomorrow when your sufficiently rested to drive the necessary miles for that trip... no sir... you've got to leave now.
Oh, and those log books... they are nothing but a joke.


So, with this tiny bit of information now available to you, can you see how the highways may be flooded with truely UNQUALIFIED drivers ?

Who knows how much rest that person had, or how hard they may have tried to do everything safe.
I will say one thing for the driver that you mentioned that left the road to avoid hitting the teenager... KUDOS TO YOU DRIVER !
Yes, kudos to that driver because he risked his own life to save the life of another by veering off of the road and avoiding the collision with the teens vehicle.

Do I myself really have any right to speak up in this way ?
I sure do, you see... I just relinquished my CDL after having driven those big rigs for over 25 years.
I've seen just about everything, been just about everywhere, and driven mile after mile when I should have been sleeping... by most peoples standards. The trucking industry is all screwed up, but it's not the drivers faults... it's the fault of the no-brain idiots that allow people to have their CDLs when they aren't qualified to drive a go-cart on a restricted track.

What's sad too is the fact that many of these piss-poor drivers are COLLEGE GRADUATES !!!
Yup, people with BAs, BSs, and MBAs. They are excellent when it comes to book smarts, but can't figure out where the turn-signal switch is.