Adot, Aps Share Responsibility In Deadly Crash


With regard to the unfortunate accident involving the APS driver, John Noack, and the ensuing death of three Arizona residents, surely Arizona Department of Transportation and Arizona Public Service must also shoulder their share of the blame in addition to John's responsibility.

Re ADOT, I am referring to the lack of shoulders outside the white line on some approximately 90 percent of Highway 260 between Payson and Christopher Creek. In the 20 years that I have been driving this section of 260, the traffic load has more than tripled, and there have been numerous truck accidents on this stretch of highway. Most of them had momentarily veered off the macadam, and then they over-corrected and had an accident. As you know, it only takes a split second, and when there is no shoulder and your wheel drops down, the immediate response is to over-correct; and then you hope and pray no one is coming in the opposite direction.

ADOT's credit. In the last some three years the department has put up barriers where some of the worst accidents have taken place, but it has fallen far short of putting adequate shoulders badly needed on many curves.

Re APS. Not more than 60 days ago, prior to the above referenced accident, another "bucket" truck had the same type of accident between Payson and Pine, dropping off the macadam (again no shoulder), and over-correcting, and spinning around on the road. In this case, fortunately, no one was coming in the opposite direction.

It becomes obvious that the "bucket" makes these units "top-heavy," and when a sharp correction is necessary, the "bucket" rocking back and forth, puts the vehicle out of control of any driver.

Consequently, it seems that some design correction should be made to avoid future accidents of this type.

So, unfortunate as the results of this accident were, under the circumstances - lack of shoulder, a top-heavy "bucket" swinging back and forth, when a necessary driving correction was necessary, when these circumstances are fully weighed, it simply becomes an unfortunate accident - one that can surely avoid being duplicated in the future by ADOT and APS allocating sufficient funds to correct these two conditions.

After all, how much is a life worth?

Pastor Olin Adams

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