A tractor trailer that overturned, fatally crushing two men and injuring three others, had faulty breaks. Investigators also found numerous violations and problems with the two drivers of the big rig.
Witnesses describe how the tractor trailer descended a steep hill on Route 75 in Frederick County, Md. At the bottom the larger rig flipped onto a pick-up truck heading in the opposite direction. Hector Henriquez, 46, of Gaithersburg, Md., and Jose R. Diaz, 54, of Derwood, Md., died.
Today the family of Jose Diaz reacted with sadness and outrage.
"My husband got killed because of this type of people," says Nelly Diaz. "They don't give trucks to these people."
State Police examined the tractor trailer and found six of its 10 brakes to be broken or damaged.
"That just breaks my heart," says Romeo Diaz, Jose's son. "My heart really hurts. It's indescribable."
“This is really dangerous on 75,” says Lindsey Rippeon of Monrovia. “That’s a really dangerous part of the road. It’s really curvy. I understand he was going a lot faster than what he was supposed to be going.”
The rig, owned by a Florida company, was not registered to operate in Maryland and the driver’s log was riddled with falsifications.
“If he didn’t have his brakes working that’s pretty bad,” says Donnie Hottinger. “You would think those trucks would be inspected regularly and they would catch things like that.”
The driver of the tractor trailer, 34-year-old Watson Pierre, is charged with two counts of criminally negligent homicide. He and his load of oranges were headed to the Costco redistribution center about a mile beyond the crash site. Those who drive the road regularly are troubled by the number of tractor trailers. Some worry about the condition of the other big rigs.
“All of these tractor trailers come through here all the time and in all honesty it doesn’t surprise me,” says George Brunner of Libertytown.