A recent deadly accident involving two commercial trucks in Harlan County, prompts Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement to take a closer look at Highway 421. Officers are on the lookout for trucks driving illegally on a road where police say there's very little room to pull them over for complete checks.
It's too much of a familiar scene for family members left behind by loved ones killed in traffic accidents. 285 people have died on Kentucky roads this year already, six more than this time last year.
Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement officers say when a heavy commercial truck is involved in a crash, there's an even smaller survival rate. That was the case in a crash three weeks ago, when officers say a truck with an illegal load pulled onto Highway 421 and two people died when a blacktop truck couldn't stop in time. That's one reason why police found one of the few spots on Highway 421 to check trucks for illegal loads.
"Whenever you have a truck that weighs 70,000 to 80,000 pounds, it doesn't operate the way that a regular passenger car would. It doesn't stop as quickly and the mechanics of the vehicle itself are a challenge," said KVE Officer Greg Reams.
Even though KVE says he's overweight, HazMat driver Mark Doss says he appreciates the check points.
"It's just a safety check and we all need to be in compliance," he said.
With enough room, officers can do more thorough checks, for loose lug nuts, slick or flat tires, working mirrors and all the suspension, all things that are important to safe driving trucks.
Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement officers checked about one hundred trucks today and say they found very few violations.