Police hunt mattress-laden dump truck that caused fatal 128 crash

Mattress on Rte. 128 in Burlington

State Police report they are looking for the driver of a dump truck that lost a mattress on Rte. 128 southbound in Burlington yesterday, causing a chain-reaction collision that ended with a woman dead.

State Police say the vehicle is a large dump truck with a white cab and possibly black netting or a tarp covering the bed - out of which flew the mattress.

The bed is reported to be dark in color, with wood along the sides

The truck was carrying additional mattresses and was occupied by two men.



Free tagging: 


Driver: "I didn't know it

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Driver: "I didn't know it flew out of the back"
Lawyer: "My client had no knowledge this mattress exited his truck causing such an accident"
Lenient Judge: "The driver will be issued a traffic violation. Case dismissed"

You think they'll even get a traffic violation?

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Don't know what world you live in.

Also, it will be the police and not the judge that will protect the driver. See also "dump truck driver kills cyclist in hit and run in back bay and walks free because cops coddle them".

But aren't the cops the ones

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But aren't the cops the ones who are frustrated they do all this work to catch these criminals and they get of scotch free? I think the police are wanting to get this guy and punish him.. Judge just wants to be liberal and keep jails from "over crowdedness"

Scotch free?

I would hope that they would be scotch free.

As for judges letting people off, well, just look at some recent deaths where truck drivers killed or maimed people not in cars, and who ran interference for the drivers. A judge can't free someone who is never charged.

The real problem is, of course enforcement. I wish I had a chunk of cash for every time I've seen a trooper drive right past a trailer that didn't have lights or didn't have its lights hooked up properly ... and we know that kills, too.

Police Protect Driver

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By seeking identity of driver. Do your knees hurt from all that jerking?

It's not about cyclists this

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It's not about cyclists this time. This specific story is about a driver who was killed by a negligent driver. Show some respect to the victim please.


So it would be disrespectful to the victim to point out that drivers get a pass when they drive negligently?! I think if the deceased could tell us something, they wouldn't be saying, "ignore negligence."

Before you totally pass judgment

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perhaps you should also see Cyclist entering intersection gets hit because they try passing large truck about to turn on the truck's right side without due consideration of the "blind spot" concept. Idiotic state law (bikes can pass on right) and poor design concept (placing bike lane on right side of roadway) that encourages such irresponsible behavior to blame.

Reread your driving manual

You don't get to take right turns out of the left lane and then blame the other users of the road.

Not because you drive a truck. Not because the vehicle you smash is "just" a bicycle.

You have to change lanes or, if that doesn't work, yield to the lanes you don't own - i.e. WAIT to make the turn until those lanes are clear.

It is really that simple.

As someone who has to drive a

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As someone who has to drive a truck for work, I think what he was describing is that the truck is in the right most lane for motorized vehicles to make a right turn, but between the truck and the right side of the road is the bike lane. It sounded like a bike rider not paying attention to/not seeing the truck's turn signal, and trying to drive straight through the intersection as the truck is turning out of it. It's entirely possible I read that wrong though.

No matter how well your mirrors are positioned, there will always still be a blind spot. And most of my fellow truck drivers take the job of doing it safely very seriously. There's a constant scanning of mirrors to try and figure out where that car or bicycle that was hanging out next to you just disappeared to. Are they still beside me? Did they turn off somewhere? Can I change lanes yet or are they in my blind spot now?

And not to defend completely reckless people, but driving a truck can also be incredibly loud, especially if it's only partially loaded. I double check my load every time before I close the door, but by the time that cavernous box on wheels driven by a loud engine is navigating the highway or streets full of potholes, there's no way to know what's going on in the back unless you've done such a crappy job that the entire thing has come loose, in which case you'd probably flip the truck from the weight shifting before you realize what's going on.

Bottom Line: This particular story is incredibly sad and who knows what the integrity of the driver was, but one would think a mattress is pretty noticeable to fly out behind you. Driving anything should require an aptitude capable of understanding basic geometry and laws of physics. Everyone should look out for each other. Sometimes people are going to make mistakes, and it doesn't necessarily mean they're a moron or careless or should have the book thrown at them by law enforcement. Or that if they aren't punished to the full extent of the law, that cops are just doughnut chasers who should never be allowed to nap on their break so that they can stay more alert while on duty.

Here's what I'm imagining.

Here's what I'm imagining.

"Hello, this is the Massachusetts State Police, what is your emergency?"

"I'm on 128 South, around Burlington. There's a pickup truck that's driving with a mattress that doesn't look secure."


I'm really surprised this doesn't happen more often, given the number of pickup trucks I see that are packed to the gills with household goods seemingly held in place by a piece of thread. I know people need to transport stuff, and I'm fine with that, but often it seems like the items are held in by luck, rather than secured by strong rope or a tarp.

There was recently an accident on I-91 in northern Connecticut where a sofa (I think. Maybe it was a recliner, but I think it was a sofa.) fell of the back of a truck. A driver behind the truck drove into the furniture and was killed.

I was once driving on the Pike and a Volvo blew by me at 70+MPH in the left lane with a mattress that was so poorly secured on the roof that it was being lifted off of the car by the wind resistance. Both occupants of the vehicle were holding on to the sides of the mattress, in an attempt to keep the mattress on the roof. I slowed way down and made sure that car got at least 1/4-mile ahead of me. Let that thing fly into someone else. Of course, I would have been muy screwido if by chance that mattress had chosen to leave the car during those few seconds when the Volvo was passing me.

I repsectfully disagree that MSP would do nothing.

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I think that if you called the MSP with that complaint, and they had a trooper in the vicinity, I think that the trooper would be notified and would be on the lookout for said vehicle. My comment is based on my own experience calling in something similar to MSP several years ago.

So your hypothesis is that if

So your hypothesis is that if there is a trooper in the vicinity, then he might be "on the lookout" for said vehicle. I'm not sure how reassuring this is supposed to be. As long as we're speaking in hypotheticals, how about sending a trooper out and instructing him to find the offender who is endangering life and limb, as opposed to just hoping that Jed happens to drive by the trooper's current location?

I had a similar experience

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a few years back on I-93 north by River Road in Andover. In this case, an unsecured Little Tikes basketball hoop that was on top of a bunch of furniture and other stuff (also equally unsecured) in the open back of a pickup truck about three car lengths in front of me was caught by a gust of wind. Saw what was happening and immediately moved into the right lane, passing the hoop just as it hit the pavement.

After pulling over to call MassHighway to report the debris, I continued on my way. Just north of the weigh station in Windham, I spotted two vehicles in the grass off of the right shoulder. One was the same pickup truck, which was now missing about half the stuff out of the bed. The other was a minivan. Judging by the star pattern I noticed in the minivan's windshield, it was apparent that at least one driver wasn't as fortunate as I had been in avoiding the flying debris from the pickup.

On my wish list for increased enforcement

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More citations for people who fail to properly secure loads on vehicles and for failing to clear snow from vehicles are very high on my wish list for increased enforcement. As we can see from this tragedy, failure to do either can kill completely innocent people around the idiots who are too lazy to do it.

When I see things like this, all that I can think of is, God forbid, having to tell a child that his or her parent is dead because, essentially, someone else was incredibly lazy.

As for the commenter about the I-91 incident involving a sofa a few years ago - I think that there might be only two degrees of separation between me and someone else who was nearly killed in that incident. Cripes.

as someone who rides a motorcycle

I get very nervous when I see any vehicle transporting a mattress. I also try to stay far away from those "Jed Clampett-mobiles" that have poorly-secured loads of household furnishings in the back.

As someone who drives a Jeep

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I too stay far away form the Grapes of Wrath rigs. Also rental trucks and even zip cars if i can spot them.

And remember flying when all the pilots were cool as cukes Korean war vets?

Good time, no snark