TUKWILA, WASHINGTON -- 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 **, who authored the denial letter. While Ms. ** 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 **, at the instruction of Ms. **, 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.