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Trailer safety segment sends Jacksonville man into action

10:08 PM, May 24, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As droves of people hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, we're taking a look at the dangers of tow-behind trailers.

Thursday, we shared a story from our sister station in Minnesota about a woman who lost her family in an accident caused by one of those trailers. The story touched one First Coast man so much that he felt compelled to say more.

"It definitely saved somebody's life. That might have been behind me beside me or just taking their kids for a drive," said Christopher Terrell.

Terrell was scared into action, after watching the story about trailer hitches and their deadly impact if improperly installed.

"I've seen many times I would hook up my trailer that way and it would pop up and I did not secure it like I should have," Terrell said.

Terrell spends 15-20 hours a week on the road collecting old chairs, tires and wires as a metal recycler.

"If you had caught me yesterday, this is where it was," said Terrell.

His truck, which normally tows a 6-by-18 foot trailer and 5,000 pounds of material, was hooked the wrong way. There was no hitch attached to his truck. Instead, his trailer was placed on the back of his bumper

Back in 2011, a 51-year-old Fruit Cove woman was killed near the entrance to the Julington Creek Plantation when a trailer attached to a teen's truck came loose, crushing the woman. The teen was later cited for having unsafe equipment and improper chains.

So Friday morning, Terrell took his truck to a local shop and let the professional fix what could have been a deadly mistake.

"I want to make sure it never happens to me again," said Terrell.

First Coast News

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