Cumberland Times-News

March 4, 2014

Roundabout could have been the scene of a fatal accident

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— I am writing this letter because I am concerned with the safety of this fiasco Maryland calls a roundabout. I call it a death trap waiting to happen. (“Runaway SHA truck injures driver,” Feb. 26 Times-News, Page 3B)

On Feb. 24, I was heading to work. It was 11:55 a.m. when I entered the round-a-bout going north bound.

As I was entering the round-a-bout preparing to bear right onto the east bound ramp leading to Interstate 68, my vehicle suddenly was inundated with rocks and dirt.

Out of the corner of my left eye I could make out something huge coming right at me. I quickly hit the accelerator trying to get out of the way. It was no use.

The vehicle, which turned out to be a State Highway Administration dump truck with a large plow blade on the front of the truck, slammed into the side of my van just behind the rear wheel on the driver’s side destroying my van.

My van turned completely around and was stopped, heading southbound.

The truck had descended the steep ramp from Interstate 68. The truck driver said that his brakes failed on the truck. There are signs on 68 eastbound prohibiting large trucks from using that ramp.

After striking my vehicle the truck continued through the roundabout and up a steep embankment.

Had I entered that roundabout two seconds later I would have been broadsided and possibly killed.

The Cumberland police officer said to me that I was not the only one in that vehicle at that time, meaning that God Himself was in control of that situation. There is no doubt this was true.

I would close that ramp before someone does get killed. Did the driver gear down that truck before descending that steep ramp?

That roundabout is the biggest joke since the cross town bridge was built. People from out of state wonder what kind of rednecks we are here in Western Maryland.

Paul Williams