This is what happens when you’re not paying attention while driving

KARE 11 says distraction may have played a role in this crash in which a dump truck slams into a line of parked cars.

You think?

It happened last Thursday on Minnesota Highway 13 near Washburn Avenue in Burnsville and trucker Pat Nelson, a trucker who actually pays attention to what he’s doing, got it all on his dashboard camera.

Posted by Pat Nelson on Friday, September 7, 2018

The State Patrol says neither alcohol nor any impairment was to blame for the crash.

The driver of the truck, Andy Stafford, 49, of Owatonna, Minn., was cited for “failure to exercise due care.”

Nelson, the professional trucker in this story, tells KARE 11 that he saw the truck swerve about a mile earlier, “so I knew he was fiddling with something.”

Amazingly, nobody was seriously hurt in the crash. And Nelson deserves credit for paying attention and stopping his truck before it slammed into Doris Weber, 49, of Chicago, who was driving the SUV, according to the Star Tribune.

Nelson hopes that posting his video will educate the public a little more “to pay attention to what you’re doing.”

Under state statute (169.14), the driver of the dump truck can expect a fine of about $100.

  • Lois Gaetz

    Maybe vehicles should have a reverse dash cam that operates independently? I worry about who is on the road every time I start my car.

    • >>Maybe vehicles should have a reverse dash cam that operates independently?<<

      I saw the SUV that rear-ended me coming from about 200 feet away. The only thing I could think was, "This guy isn't slowing down."

      • Lois Gaetz

        I was suggesting it as a way to find out what the driver was doing!

        • Heh, they SHOULD be driving.


          • Lois Gaetz

            we all know people who think they can multi-task, who think that hands free does not equal mind off the job, and who will deny distraction if they cause an accident, those are the ones I want to see a video of

        • These newer safety features on cars that basically act like a “stick shaker” when there’s a potential collision with something ahead (rented a vehicle last weekend with this) really make sense and probably should be standard equipment.

          • Lois Gaetz

            Ha, that’s what my husbands’ new car does, it feels much safer, we drive with the manual on my lap and look up every “alert” we get.

          • Hahahaha. So true. It was two days before I finally figured out what all the little icons on the heads up display on the windshield meant. ANd there was no manual in the glovebox.

    • boB from WA

      This is becoming “standard” equipment on most transit vehicles (buses, light rail, commuter rail) as well as on some of the major Class 1 railroads, all to detect operator error.

      Unfortunately when you are speaking of trucks, many of them are independently operated, and are not mandated to be equipped with such devices.

  • AL287

    How many times does it have to be said?

    Turn the damn phone off!

    Instead of video gaming disorder perhaps that should be expanded to include smart phone addiction.

  • jon

    So I’ve heard said that those dump trucks are usually class 7 trucks, I.e. do not require a CDL… so the drivers behind them aren’t required to have any more training than you need to drive a sedan.

    The tractor trailers require a CDL, which requires a great deal more training.

    This is fun information to keep in your back pocket on the road, because box trucks and dump trucks like this are potentially driven by the same idiots in SUVs and Minivans on the road. Where as the big trucks, (the tractor trailers) are driven by professionals who are trained and held more accountable (like their livelihood is on the line if they mess up).

    I tend to give box trucks and dump trucks a wider berth because of this when driving.

    • Guest


    • joetron2030

      I was commenting to coworkers yesterday that I’m always wary of all larger trucks with MN plates on them. In my observations, many of them tend to be driven by people who think they’re driving their private sedan, minivan, or pickup trucks and not a giant commercial vehicle. I tend to see them tailgating and making other questionable moves on the roads as much as passenger vehicles do.

      • jon

        Some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road (in my opinion) flag themselves with signage like “u-haul” it’s basically a indicator that “the driver is not familiar with this vehicle, and is out of their depth!”

        Other vehicles that size suffer from similar issues… But the really big trucks, they’ve got a lot of training behind them, and I generally feel it shows.

    • RBHolb

      You are correct about the licensure. I once rented a dump truck to pull a boat trailer (it was the only rental truck I could find that weekend).

    • Jerry

      Over The Road truckers may drive fast, but they tend to be predictable. It’s the short haulers (delivery, gravel, and dump trucks) that worry me. They drive very aggressively because they are pressured to get in as many trips in a day as they can. It seems like the long distance truckers know they can make up that time by driving a more steady pace.

      I also wonder if there has been a big turnover in the industry, with older drivers retiring and newer ones having less experience and worse driving habits.

      • jon

        Look at the GVW on those trucks, the ones that you say worry you are under 26,000lbs… if you look at the back of your license you’ll see that it the limit on a class D license.

        As for the trucker labor force… there is a labor shortage in the trucking industry… BLS says 20% of all open positions in the country are in transportation… lots of those are truckers. (transportation is 10% of the GDP so 20% of the open positions is a bit disproportionate)

        There has been a labor shortage in that industry since I was in highschool, no one wants to be an over the road trucker miles away from home for weeks on end, no one wants to get into a dying industry (and if what is said about self driving cars is to be believed it is a dying industry), it’s not a glorious job (though the pay isn’t terrible depending on who you work for ~$70k a year for private fleets last I read.).

        I don’t think it’s a matter of experience, I think it’s a matter of the industry not always attracting the best people.

  • Do I have to break out my collision photo again?

    • Barton

      I don’t want to see it again, but it IS a good reminder……

    • Jeff

      Did you get to keep the Hi Bob license plate?

      • 🙂

        I Photoshopped it in for him.

        • Jeff

          I hope you didn’t just burst Bob’s bubble, but then again that means that plate might be available.

          Thinking about it we should start a Hi Bob! license plate club and every time we see another member with a Hi Bob! license plate we pull over for a drink.


  • >>Nelson, the professional trucker in this story, tells KARE 11 that he saw the truck swerve about a mile earlier, “so I knew he was fiddling with something.”<<

    *watches video*

    Damn, nice job anticipating that.

    • jon

      I watched it again, and you can see he hits his brakes before the dump truck hits theirs.

  • Chris

    That is truly a nightmare. I guess being an American driver means knowing that at any moment some one like Andy Stafford, 49, of Owatonna, Minn could end your life for no reason. The punishment should be more than being cited for failure to exercise due care. Seems to me that his actions are no less worse than someone who randomly fires a gun in a crowd. He got lucky and didn’t kill anybody, but it wasn’t for lack of actions that could have easily resulted in death.

  • MrE85

    Hard not to think about this when you see a dump truck along side you on 35W.

    • joetron2030

      I tend to accelerate, decelerate, and otherwise do what I can to get away from them as quickly as it’s safely possible to do.

    • AL287

      The most terrifying drive with dump trucks is Greenwell Springs Rd. near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There is a gravel pit near the middle of the route and there is not a lot of straight road the entire length of it.

      The gravel truck drivers don’t care if they take half your side of the two lane highway on the numerous sharp S curves speeding along at 50 mph or higher.

      Any student driver that drives that road during school hours will never get behind the wheel again.

      It is absolutely petrifying.

    • Joseph

      Oddly enough, for my job last summer I had to do some on-road bike riding to test out proposed MnDOT routes (I’m an urban planner) in the St. Cloud area. I rode my bike down a county road that ran next to an active quarry with a multitude of fast moving dump trucks. Even though they were driving what felt like 50-60 mph in a 30 mph zone, they were the best drivers I encountered, and moved over into the oncoming lane (there was no oncoming traffic) to give me and my bike the most wide berth possible. The average people driving SUV’s and mini-vans were the most dangerous to me — they never moved over and sometimes left me with at most 1 ft clearance (and there was no oncoming traffic, and they were driving at 30-40 mph).

    • boB from WA

      Hard not to think about when any truck is beside you.

  • RBHolb

    I think most of us have been guilty of some kind of distracted driving at some point in our lives. Most of us, however, have enough awareness to know when our vehicle is swerving, and know enough to take that as a signal to knock off whatever else we’re doing and pay attention to the road.

  • DCJensen
    • JamieHX

      One of my favorite tv characters from one of my all-time favorite tv shows!

  • lindblomeagles

    Two nights ago, a similar accident happened in front of my house at 11:00 p.m. A driver and his companion apparently took our street way to fast, wasn’t paying attention, and ran into the back of a suburban, pushing the parked suburban at least two car lengths while flipping his own car completely on its top. The suburban, a sturdy vehicle for sure, wound up with a twisted chasis,, and steamrolled a motorcycle, completely covering the bike that was parked in front of it. At least this dump truck driver STAYED for emergency vehicles to arrive. The driver of the car in front of my house ? He fled the scene leaving his female companion now sprawled out on the car ceiling and the pavement to tend to her own injuries while explaining what happened to the neighborhood and police. Not even making this story up.