Sunday, December 21, 2014

Semi overturns near Love's stop

By The Herald Staff | 4/9/2014

A 43-year-old Kansas City, Kan., truck driver who planned to fill up with fuel at Ottawa before he got back onto the highway found his truck in more dire straits than an empty gas tank. 

Bill Merritt’s tractor and 20-foot trailer overturned Tuesday morning while he was making a left turn off U.S. 59 into Love’s Travel Stop, 203 E. 27th St., Ottawa.

Merritt was driving south on U.S. 59 and turning left into Love’s when the truck began to overturn, Sgt. Steve Lemons, with the Ottawa Police Department, said at the scene. 

Merritt was driving about 5 to 10 mph when he started to turn the vehicle and was surprised when it began to tip, he said. He said the cargo must not have been secured properly, and that’s why the truck became top heavy.

“That’s why you wear a seat belt,” Merritt said.

Wind and shifting cargo contributed to the incident, Capt. Adam Weingartner, with the Ottawa Police Department, said. The contents of the truck were unknown. 

Kansas Highway Patrol investigators carried out the post-crash investigation, Weingartner said. Crash investigators determined the load inside the trailer shifted, causing the trailer to overturn, according to a police report. No citations have been issued.

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