Trending Content

Spin and flip

By Mary Ann Gormly

March 1, 2023

Mary Ann Gormly

Mary Ann Gormly

A man sitting at a red light stared straight ahead waiting for his light to turn green. He was the first car in his lane, and he watched the cars going by in the intersection in front of him. It was one of those lights that seemed to drag on forever when you’re the one waiting.

He saw a box truck ease into the intersection from his left like he was going to make a left turn. The man looked to his right and saw a car nearing the intersection. He watched helplessly as the box truck turned left right in front of the car. The car struck the right rear corner of the box truck causing the truck to spin 180 degrees and then flip on its side.

The man grabbed his phone from his passenger seat and called 911. Once off the phone he eased his way around the accident scene and pulled off the side of the road. He had seen the entire accident unfold in front of him and wanted to be sure he was available to provide his statement to the police who were arriving on the scene.

He saw emergency personnel gingerly remove the lady from the car. They put her in a neck brace before laying her on a stretcher and into the back of the ambulance. Other personnel climbed up on the side of the box truck and were able to open the passenger’s side door. They assisted the driver up and out of the box truck. He was put into a second ambulance and taken to the hospital.

The witness to the accident provided his statement to the police. The box truck had a flashing yellow arrow, he was sure about that because he could see the light from his vantage point. He wasn’t as positive about the car, but believed they must have had a green light based upon his own red light and his experience with the intersection.

One police officer followed the ambulances to the hospital where they were able to get statements from both drivers. The driver of the box truck said he had a flashing yellow light and felt like he had enough time to complete his turn before the car arrived at the intersection. He thought the car would probably have a red light by the time it got there. The driver of the car said she had a solid green light. She saw the box truck easing into the intersection but did not expect him to pull in front of her car. By the time he did, she did not have time to stop and there was nowhere for her to go.

The driver of the box truck was cited for failure to yield right of way and a contributing factor of inattention. The driver of the car did not receive any citations.

The driver of the car was treated for burns from the airbag and an abrasion from her seatbelt. Her shins were bruised, she had pain in her left hand and ached all over. She received x-rays and a CAT scan while at the hospital. The diagnostics all came back negative. Other than her burns and contusions, she had soft tissue injuries that would just take time to heal.

The driver of the box truck was treated and released for minor scrapes and bruises.

The box truck and the car were both deemed total losses. The driver of the car had soft tissue injuries and she had to see a physical therapist and chiropractor for a few months after the accident. The total settlement for the accident came to just under six figures.

Remind your drivers to pay attention and not take chances. The driver of the box truck is very lucky that he walked away with only minor bumps and bruises.

Mary Ann Gormly is a loss analyst for ARA Insurance, Overland Park, Kan. For more information, call 800-821-6580 or visit