A Near Miss
From "Tow Times" and Warn Industries
Please study this photograph carefully; notice the eight inch nylon strap, ľ inch thick, out the rear of the Jeep. See that it comes through the rear window, then through the driverís seat, then out the front windshield. Notice that the holes in the seat and the windshield are relatively clean.
This is a reconstructed
photo. However, it shows
precisely what happened and was reconstructed to demonstrate what can
happen (and has happened before) when straps are used to pull a vehicle
from mud, sand or snow. The
picture depicts an actual occurrence.
Happily, the driver recovered.
Now the story of this NEAR MISS.
The Jeep owner was being a
good guy and volunteered to help extricate a friendís truck from where
it was stuck in the mud some sixty feet away.
Someone produced two of those thirty-foot straps and put them
together with a five-pound clevis hook.
One end was hooked to the frame rail of the truck, the other to
the Jeep. The on-lookers
recommended this procedure rather than to use the winch plainly seen on
the front of the four-wheel drive, off-road vehicle.
The Jeep driver slowly moved ahead and got the strap lines into a
taut state. Then in low
gear he started to pull.
When the missile sprang forward, the release of drag caused the drivers upper body to shift forward moving his head to the right of that four-inch hole in the seat. The clevis hook struck him in the left shoulder, grazed his neck and went on its lethal way. The driver never knew, until later, what hit him. Rendered unconscious, he slumped forward, his foot depressing the accelerator. The Jeep roared ahead and stopped some 500 feet later when the dragging strap became tangled in the brush. This wild ride crossed two roads, two ditches and tore down a fence.
The onlookers rushed to the
drivers aid expecting the worst. Still
unconscious, he was air lifted to the hospital and x-rayed twice; there
was no injury except a very sore shoulder.
He personally related this tale to your editor some months after
the event, and he still has some soreness where the clevis hook caressed
him on its meteoric path through the Jeep.
This did not occur in the
snow belt where off road, four-by-fours typically cruise about
extricating vehicles imbedded in snow banks.
This type of unprofessional conduct, using straps, has caused
similar mishaps, one two years ago being a fatality.
The Jeep owner in our story took a series of photos to
reconstruct what happened and sent the photos to several magazines in
the off-road vehicle trade. Tow
Times got the exclusive in the towing industry.
All of us hope that this will never happen again.
Thatís why we are telling you this story of this NEAR MISS.
This was printed in Tow Times some time back.