TUKWILA, WASHINGTON -- Complaint regarding highway incident involving City Transfer, Inc. [2720 E. Valley Highway East, Sumner, WA 98390; 98390]
On June 7, 2002, I was traveling southbound on Interstate 5 in my 2002 Honda Accord when a rock struck my windshield, immediately making a large crack. In the very near distance, traveling straight in my same lane was a dump truck carrying a load of dirt and gravel. As I approached the vehicle, after changing lanes to avoid debris, I observed that quite a bit of “spray” - bits of dirt and pebbles were hitting my car. I also noticed that the truck was overloaded – the top of the dirt/gravel mound actually sat above the rim of the truck and had no tarp or covering over it. This left the rocks and dirt exposed to the oncoming wind draft, estimated at least 60 mph (the rate of speed of the truck).
I was able to find a business name on the door of the truck, City Transfer of Sumner, WA, and within 20 minutes I was on the phone with the company filing a formal complaint and requesting that they pay for any costs for repairs. After getting my account of the incident, I was told by the company that I would be notified via letter as to their decision of whether or not to accept responsibility.
On June 28, 2002, I received a letter from City Transfer that stated the company would not accept responsibility for the incident, and that my request for reimbursement to repair the windshield, an estimated $248.44, was denied. The reasoning was as follows:
“[We] have gone over the details regarding your claim. According to the information provided you were unable to indicate where the rock may have come from. Dirt and rocks thrown up from the roadway are considered road hazards for which we have no control over. After careful consideration of the facts we must deny your claim.”
On July 1, 2002 I called the company’s complaint department and reached a Ms. Pam Wagoner, who authored the denial letter. While Ms. Wagoner did not take responsibility for the incident, she did admit that City Transfer had a vehicle traveling southbound on I-5 with a load of dirt and gravel on June 7, 2002. In an effort to escalate my claim I sent a letter to the attention of a Mr. Jeff Anderson, at the instruction of Ms. Wagoner, dated July 1, 2000 asking the company to reconsider its decision and send me $248.44, the estimated cost of replacing my windshield. I have received no communication from the company since.
I believe I have provided substantial evidence to City Transfer that they were indeed responsible in this incident and am absolutely certain that had the company had its load of dirt and gravel properly covered I would not have had my windshield broken on the morning of June 7, 2002. City Transfer’s disregard for others on the highways of Washington is simply unacceptable and I will continue to pursue this until it is completely resolved to my satisfaction.
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Damage caused to vehicles by uncovered trucks carrying uncovered loads
RENTON, WASHINGTON -- On Monday, June 10, 2002, at approximately 9AM, I was heading eastbound on NE 3rd St. in Renton, Wa, when I was passed by a westbound fast-moving CTI (City Transfer Inc.)truck. We were in adjacent lanes and there were no vehicles on either side of us. A large rock was thrown from the truck which hit my windshield and cracked it badly. I had two other passengers in my vehicle that witnessed this incident and can confirm that the windshield was not damaged prior to this date. The windshield was new as of February 2002.
I have attempted to resolve this matter with CTI, however, their position is that, "since I was unable to obtain a truck or license #," that "they are not responsible for this incident, particularly since they cannot verify what cargo if any they were hauling at the time."
My contention is that the driver was traveling at a fast rate of speed, possibly to make it through the light at the bottom of the hill, and I did not have time to obtain a truck or license #. I wouldn't have been able to catch up with the driver even if I had made a u-turn in the middle of the road to pursue him because I wouldn't have made it through the light myself. Additionally, I have taken note since then that the truck #'s are not placed in easily visible areas and cannot be seen when passing a truck on the side.
I have suggested to CTI that they issue payment for my insurance deductible in the amount of $100.00, since this damage is covered under my policy, rather than for me to simply 'drive in' to an auto glass repair shop which would be more costly. I am not seeking any other damages nor am I attempting to make a profit. I simply want what I had prior to this incident which was a new, undamaged front windshield.
I feel that since CTI is responsible for the damage to my vehicle, they are, therefore, responsible for the repair of it.