The Utah highway patrol recently cited a 53-year-old Fruit heights man for “failure to secure a load” after a mattress fell off of his vehicle and caused a fatal accident.
The man was fortunate to leave with a citation for failing to secure a load. Some overzealous prosecutors may have brought involuntary manslaughter charges under similar circumstances.
Common situations in which involuntary manslaughter charges arise are drunk driving and distracted driving accidents. A mitigating factor in this particular accident may have been the fact that the motorcyclist’s failure to wear a helmet may have contributed to his death. Motorcyclists are much more likely to die in similar crashes when they fail to wear protective gear.
The mattress incident occurred on I-15 in Box Elder County. Authorities say that a motorcyclist was riding in the southbound lanes of the highway last Tuesday when he hit the mattress and flew from his bike. Emergency crews arrived at the scene but the motorcyclist was eventually pronounced dead before being transported.
After news reports regarding the incident surfaced, the Fruit Heights man came forward to authorities. Fruit Heights is a Davis County city near Ogden and Clearfield. It is unclear whether the man’s decision to come forward influence the severity of the charges against him.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune, “Owner of mattress that caused fatal crash cited,” Bob Mims, June 6, 2012