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Trucker dies in crash on dangerous hill

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A trucker is dead after a crash this morning on a dangerous hill near Wilkes-Barre.

We have more on why some people think the road needs more warning signs.

Police say Anthony Williams, 54, Philadelphia, was killed around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, when he lost control on a curve at Giants Despair.

Police say his truck rolled over and smashed into a dirt embankment along the steep hill on E. Northampton St., which is used for an annual car race.

"The tractor trailer was rolled over, crushed," says Laurel Run Fire Chief Joseph Tavaglione. "When we got to him, we found out that he was dead before we got here."

Tavaglione says there are signs warning truckers not to come down this road if their trucks are heavier than a certain limit, but borough officials have been thinking about adding somehow to that signage.

"The borough's been in contact with the state," says Tavaglione. "Maybe a bigger sign, maybe a lighted sign. Something that's gonna grab the attention of the driver before they even start to descend the hill."

The road is off-limits to trucks over 10 1/2 tons, and several signs are posted on Laurel Run Road heading into town, including a two-mile warning at the beginning, a one-mile and zero miles.

We also spotted one near the I-81 overpass for those heading up the hill. Tavaglione say the container/trailer section of the tractor-trailer itself was estimated at 50,000 pounds, and was filled with lumber.

"There is no reason for more signs," says borough councilwoman Gloria Mosley. "They're not paying attention to those that are there. So you could put 100 signs out, but if they're not reading the ones that are there, they won't read the new signs either. They just go wherever their GPS tells them to go and I was explained this by other truck drivers."

The fire department has posted pictures on Facebook of two other truck accidents just this year.

Mosley says Pine Run Road, which is posted as the truck route to avoid Giants Despair, is also dangerous for large trucks, which should avoid the area.

She says council members have talked about all this several times, consulting truck drivers in their meeting audience, and state police.

"Today, I understand it was a very bad accident, and for that I am very sorry, but if the truck drivers do not take responsiblity and read the signs and listen to what they're supposed to do, they pay the consequences of their actions," says Mosley.

Tavaglione says some truckers have special GPSs that have information specific for truckers, but not all of them have those.

He also says the mayor is sending a letter to state officials about the issue.

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The truck was printed with the name A&S Services. According to federal DOT records, that information is for a York-based company that ahas had four deadly crashes in the past two years. Records show the carrier had 37 injury crashes in that time, and it has more than 1,000 drivers on staff.

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