Sometimes there are terrible events that simply take your breath away. We read recently of an interstate tractor-trailer crash that killed a young mother and her infant twin daughters.
Passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers travel on the same streets, highways and interstates, but the two vehicle types are completely mismatched. The bottom of an 18-wheeler is higher than the hood of the passenger vehicle, however.
For some of our St. Louis readers, the news that Waymo’s self-driving trucks are returning to the roads will offer hope for the future, while for others the news will be disturbing. Waymo is Google’s self-driving vehicles division, recently announced that after a two-year hiatus, it is putting its autonomous tractor-trailers back on freeways.
According to news reports, two people were recently killed in a violent collision on Interstate 44 just south of downtown St. Louis. A spokesperson for the city's fire department said the pair died when their car slammed into the back of a stopped tractor-trailer near the 7th Street exit.
According to a news report from a St. Louis TV station, six people were seriously injured in a crash early this morning. Officials said that just before 2 this morning, an 18-wheeler and a car collided on Gravois Avenue near the 55-44 split.
The Missouri Department of Transportation signs along the interstate warned drivers that traffic ahead was slow. But the truck rolled past those warnings, just as it rolled past the state trooper parked alongside the highway with his emergency lights on and holding a sign urging drivers to slow down. Vehicles on the highway were indeed slowing and stopping - all but the big rig thundering along Interstate 70 near Columbia.
We read recently of a horrific crash involving a passenger car a tractor trailer. Federal agencies are investigating the wreck because they are concerned that the Tesla sedan might have been in self-driving Autopilot mode at the time of the crash with the 18-wheeler.
One of the things we can count on in St. Louis is that we cannot count on our winter weather. It could be sunny and warm today and cold and snowy tomorrow and then back again the following day.
There's nothing on St. Louis's streets or interstates that is bigger, heavier or more difficult to maneuver or stop than an 18-wheeler. When that big rig is driven by someone who has had too little sleep, the risk of a truck accident involving injuries or death can be as great as it is with a drunk driver.
He grew up in St. Louis and attended school in the affluent suburb of Ladue. When it was time for the young man to go to college, he went to the University of Kansas, but still returned to his hometown some weekends.