Tales of three runaway trucks: Crises endured and averted, lessons learned

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Today, this special edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, part of our 60th-anniversary series, in part transports you back to a moment in time in the late 1970s, when owner-operator Gordon Alkire found himself in an old Astro 95 cabover with no brakes heading Southeast down the backside of Monteagle Mountain in Tennessee. It’s a situation that’s no exactly universal among truckers through the years, but not as uncommon as you might think. The occasion in 2019 when this part of my talk with Alkire originally ran was the fiery Lakewood, Colorado, crash of Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, who lost control of his truck on a downhill grade and, ultimately, crashed, killing multiple people and sending multiple others to the hospital. In the wake of the tragedy for all involved, including the driver, charged with vehicular homicide among other counts, the recriminations were quick in coming for him from fellow truckers, with no small amount of finger-pointing to this or that cause. Alkire, retired owner-operator of Riley, Kansas, at the time reached out with a considered piece about such finger-pointing that you can read in full via this link: https://www.overdriveonline.com/overdrive-radio/podcast/14896300/in-wake-of-colo-crash-reserve-judgment-says-gordon-alkire-recounting-a-70s-monteagle-brake-failure He ultimately asked his fellow drivers to check their condemnation and take a close look at themselves. “Ask yourself if that could have been you,” he wrote. “A downgrade, a loaded trailer, no brakes. Confusion, fear, and panic.” He's been there, and he tells that story here. Also: Shortly after airing Alkire’s tale in the Spring of 2019, we heard from South Carolina-based owner-operator Lee Epling about his own, more recent no-brakes run. You'll hear that one here, too, and find the original editions of Overdrive Radio featuring these stories in the post that houses this podcast at OverdriveOnline.com: http://overdriveonline.com/14896300

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