Two young women who were forced to strip naked and hosed down on the side of the interstate after wading through a neurotoxin to help a crashed trucker have won a lawsuit against the trucking company.
Truck Overturned While Driver Looked For Object On Floor
The incident took place around 1 a.m. on November 3, 2013. A truck driver who worked for Texas-based LeSaint Chemical Logistics overturned his truck because, as he told police, he had taken his eyes off the road and was looking for something on the floor of the cab.
Kortney Broecker and Shantelle Nay were traveling on I-84 in eastern Oregon when they encountered road debris. They stopped to remove it from the roadway to prevent other drivers from hitting it when they noticed the overturned truck.
Women Unknowingly Exposed To Highly Toxic Chemical
The women moved toward the truck to assist the driver, who was bleeding and semi-conscious. They did not realize that they had walked through 4000 gallons of tetramethylammonium hydroxide, a powerful neurotoxin, in their attempt to reach the driver.
The women called 911 and were told not to leave the scene. They were not told that they were part of a Hazmat situation or that rescue crews were not immediately coming to the scene.
Good Samaritans Forced to Strip and Hosed Down on Side of Road
After waiting at the scene, the women drove away, unaware that the interstate had been shut down. Emergency responders intercepted their vehicle at the next exit and forced the women to strip naked. They were hosed down on the side of the road in freezing temperatures. All of their possessions, including their clothing and the vehicle that they were driving were incinerated.
According to the lawsuit, the women are still suffering significantly after exposure to the chemicals. Their symptoms include hair loss, nausea, headaches, chest pain, wheezing, problems with vision, and spontaneous vomiting.
Trucker Cited for Careless Driving
The truck driver, Ronald Glenn Hanes Sr. of California, was charged with careless driving. He survived the crash but was severely injured.
The women sought $200,000 each for emotional and physical damages in addition to a few thousand dollars to cover medical expenses and lost wages. Their actual settlement was close to $100,000.
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The Hastings Tribune