I was almost involved in a serious traffic accident at the intersection of 12th & Main Streets, Mt. Vernon, IL, at 1:35 PM, Friday, May 10, 2002.
I was in my car going south on 12th Street, approaching the red light at that corner at about 5 mph. At the same time there was a large semitruck with a big long trailer going west on Main Street, and it had the green light. It was going fairly fast (probably 15-20 mph), so appeared to be headed westward past the intersection, but very much to my surprise... It quickly made a wide-sweeping turn north onto 12th Street directly into my path, crossed over into my lane and headed straight for me, cutting me off before I reached the corner. I was forced to stop 10-20 feet short of the corner, go into reverse, and backup my car another 5-10 feet to avoid a collision.
The truck made no attempt to slow down or stop, and it all happened within 5-10 seconds. If I had not reacted quickly, stopped, and backed up, there would probably have been a serious head-on collision.
After the truck straightened out and passed me, it made a sharp lefthand turn (west) into the parking lot at Jay's Frozen Custard. The driver then stopped the truck, disembarked, and proceeded to deliver supplies to Jay's Frozen Custard. I also turned into the Jay's Frozen Custard parking lot area to write down the information from the side of the truck:
Southern Products Company
Full Service Restaurant Supplier
Southern Products Company Transportation Inc.
St. Louis, Missouri
Ryder 332419, Ryder 334587, USDOT 352082, KYU 18256
License Plate (Missouri) PM9677
After collecting my thoughts somewhat, I talked to the truck driver briefly. I mentioned that we almost had an accident, but his only response was that he had a right to turn at that corner. Apparently he wasn't worried about our near-collision. He appeared red-eyed, as if tired or hungover. Although I was shaken up (took me several hours to recover), so it was a serious matter to me, I didn't try to argue with him. I just told him that I would report it to the police.
I then drove over to the Mt. Vernon police station and reported it. I gave them the truck's license plate number, and they said they would call the company. I don't know if they did so, and would like to have some positive confirmation that it was done. Was the company called? What was the result? I would also like to call the company, so would appreciate their telephone number, but can probably look it up in a phone book if necessary.
I am also concerned that someone will be seriously harmed at that corner by that truck driver in the near future, because he probably makes regular deliveries to Jay's Frozen Custard. Surely something can and should be done to prevent it.
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