A Honda Odyssey collided with a discarded homemade utility trailer killing a man and woman, and leaving their two young children orphans. The children were treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital.
The accident occurred on a South Carolina highway after the trailer was abandoned in the middle lane of the highway. Another driver noticed the trailer and called police. Moments later, the couple collided with the trailer. The impact forced their van into the path of a semi-tractor trailer, and that collision pushed the Odyssey onto the shoulder of the road hitting the vehicle and driver who had pulled over to call the police. The “Good Samaritan” was not injured. Police are still searching for the driver of the vehicle that was towing the homemade trailer.
This was a senseless death and one that could have been easily prevented with some basic trailer towing regulations and laws. Homemade trailers are a growing trend. Think about how many times you find yourself driving behind a lawn service truck and trailer, or a snow removal service truck. Most of these were made by purchasing some wood and mesh and metal frames at the local Home Depot or Lowe’s. They are simply a wood flatbed with mesh, metal sides. Many people building and attaching these trailers do not consider the safety aspect, they have no idea if it will fail, and they are not regulated. Put it together in an hour or two and you’re ready to open business.
One man, Ron Melancon, has almost single-handedly alerted America to the major problems with homemade utility trailers and the need for stricter safety laws. He has chronicled his determined campaign for all to see on www.dangeroustrailers.org. Mr. Melancon has spent countless hours researching trailers and uncovered that they are not required to be inspected, and trailers less than 3,000 pounds fall below Federal guidelines. Only those over 3,000 pounds require that reflectors be placed at the "extreme rear of the trailer." Upon learning these facts, he campaigned to make a change, but several large trailer companies lobbied for a watered down version of the new regulation. So Mr. Melancon decided to keep a log on his website of all accidents involving defective utility trailers. He will not give up until the overwhelming evidence make is enough for change.
Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.