Monday, September 5, 2011

Another Fatality Related To Gas Drilling: Bradford County, PA

Gas truck on a PA road
In a nutshell,  there was a fatal accident early Sunday morning (a few minutes after midnight) in Terry Township (Bradford County, PA), involving a 2008 Ford F-150 welding rig truck driven by a North Dakota man.  The man killed, the passenger, was from Arkansas.  It appears that speed and alcohol were involved.

My thoughts:
The two people involved were NOT local residents.  So this is an example of job opportunities for Pennsylvanians.  Just anecdotal, but interesting.  The workers are so often from somewhere else.

This accident was at night on a curve in the road, and the truck was allegedly going too fast.  a) Roads in rural PA are typically curvy. b) I have found through personal experience that gas drilling trucks do go too fast- ridiculously fast.  They scare me to death.

Alcohol was allegedly involved.  Drug and alcohol abuse is rampant among gas workers.  A gas worker I talked to last June told me that every worker has to take a breathalyzer test before being allowed to enter the drilling pads.  That is good.  However, there is still a problem with drinking and drugs, especially on the roads.

So send the comments in.  Will you tell me that I should not single out gas workers?  That accidents happen to anybody?  There is some truth in that.  However,  the occupation presence of the gas industry brings with it many more dangerous elements, including vehicle accidents.  And often it is a local citizen who dies or is seriously injured. 

Here is the article from the Daily Review (Towanda):


smurfette said...

The gas company officials just do not understand that some of these roads were barely built for CARS and these trucks, especially with people who do not KNOW these roads at the wheel, are too big and unwieldly to navigate them safely. If the gas company wanted to spend the millions and millions of dollars necessary to make THESE roads safe for their truck traffic,that would have been really nice at the planning stage or even now. But first of all it would cut into their profits and the CEO might not be able to fire up his helicopter and look for stray coke cans on the well pads. Secondly, some of these roads would have to be built from scratch and widened because they are DIRT ROADS and are not wide enough for a CAR and ONE of their trucks (seen it first-hand- truck took out a front garden because we [in a small car] were going up the road and the road was not big enough and he could not stop).They are also VERY twisty-turny roads, some on huge hills,and winter is coming. You do the Math. All this adds up to dangerous situations. For some mind-boggling reason, nobody thought about these things BEFORE the infrastructure was in place for the industry. Either that, or they were so blinded by the thought of dollar bills that they decided to go ahead and take risks with OTHER peoples' lives, with OTHER peoples' children's lives, and with OTHER people's property.In other words, the planners were either idiots or morally bankrupt.

Peacegirl said...

The drillers are from Texas and Oklahoma, places like that. They are not familiar with PA. And they have the attitude: Go ahead and do it; apologize later. Or more accurately, go ahead and do it and deny that you caused a problem or were at fault in any way, shape, or form. And also: donate a little money here and there for playgrounds, festivals, schools, etc. and buy the people's silence.

-JD- said...

Way to show compassion. I've never been in another part of the United States with "High DUI Crash Area" signs, apparently this happens a lot in this area.

Peacegirl said...

Those High DUI Crash Area signs are very disturbing, I agree. I think the alcohol and drug problems in Bradford County are higher than the average. I have never seen these warning signs anywhere else either. I have compassion for people who get hurt in car accidents, especially due to the negligence of others. However, road fatalities have risen a great deal since the gas drilling industry has brought in all those huge trucks. I don't know if there is an answer to the problem. Truck drivers are paid by the load and work long hours, contributing to speed and accidents. The roads of Bradford County are treacherous even in a car, let alone in a 30-ton truck full of toxic waste. I have observed very bad driving on the part of gas drilling vehicles. So I have a few opinions about the subject which I don't mind sharing.

luvmygasguys said...

HELLOOOOOO!!! Here you go again blaming gas workers for every bad thing that happens in PA. Let me explain this in a way you might understand. More people moving into the area for whatever reason means more people driving on the roads which also means more traffic. Given those statistics, of course you're going to have more accidents. Its not "rocket science" people!!! Now let's afddress this "drug" accusation. I recall an article in USA today, a few years ago, about Towanda PA and how it was the "Meth Capital" of the US!!! Hmmmmmm......Bad Bad Pennsylvania People!! Get my drift here?????

Anonymous said...

My daugher is learning to drive. It scares me to death to have her out on the road alone once she gets her license.

Anonymous said...

Just remember that we are all scared of our kids driving, not just in Pa. THe equipment used in Gas is large and does create hazards; however, so do many other things such as coal trucks, tanker trucks, giant helicopter blades going down the road. I am in Safety and Health in the Gas fields and there is good and bad. Just because a worker is from out of town doesn't make him a hater or a criminal. I am actually from the area. There are good and bad like anything else out there. I wish everyone the best and that everyone stays safe.

Rose Bridger said...

Thank you for bringing this risk of fracking to my attention. As if the air and water contaminiation, and possibility of technogenic earthquakes were not enough... And thank you for your informative blog covering so many issues relating to fracking.