Pennsylvania State troopers say that a semi truck driver lost his life early Wednesday morning when he crashed off of a a steep mountain road known as “Giants Despair.”
Trucker Loses Control, Rolls Over, On Steep Grade
The crash happened at 6:40 a.m. near Wilkes-Barre on East Northampton Street, a road also known as Giants Despair. Police say that 54 year old Philadelphia-based truck driver Anthony Williams was driving a truck owned by A&S Services Group and was en route to an industrial park in Hanover. As Williams tried to maneuver his truck downhill through a narrow, tight curve, he lost control of his truck.
During the rollover crash, the shipping container that the truck was hauling separated from the bed of the trailer and came to a stop in a wooded area next to the roadway. The cab of the truck was crushed in the crash.
Williams died at the scene of the crash.
Heavy Trucks Are Banned On Giant’s Despair
Police say that trucks over 10 and a half tons are banned from Giants Despair because of the steep grade and that there are numerous signs warning truckers to stay away.
Pennsylvania State troopers also say that Williams’ truck was too heavy and that there could have been an issue with the truck’s brakes.
It isn’t clear why Williams was on Giants Despair. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Laurel Run Fire Chief Joseph Tavaglione stated that there are numerous crashes on Giants Despair caused by the steep grade and sharp curve and that truck drivers are not the only victims of the mountain road: “Not only tractor-trailer accidents but we’ve also had families, vehicle accidents and it’s just they were coming down the hill too fast. They didn’t know that the turn was there. Maybe we can address that there’s a big turn ahead or something like that.”
If you aren’t familiar with Giants Despair, you can get a look at part the road in the video below, which was captured by TJ James Theodore, one of the participants in this year’s Giants Depair Hillclimb Race.