Local 6 finds trailers can carry dangerous cargo

How to share roads safely

By Eryka Washington - Investigative Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - How do you feel when you're driving behind a trailer? Most of us change lanes or try and get out of their way.

[WEB EXTRA: Trailer safety]

Local 6 found they are not only dangerous but can be deadly.

Alvin Keyes lost his sister and describes what happened when a trailer came undone.

"It just came loose and went haywire, hit the car," Alvin said.

Keyes said he remembers that day like it was yesterday, he received a phone call telling him his sister was in an accident.

In May 2011, 41-year-old Wanda Keyes was driving with her 7-year-old daughter on Old Winter Garden Road when a trailer carrying a barbecue smoker became detached from the truck it was hooked onto, colliding right into Wanda's car.

Alvin says his sister didn't have a chance.

"She didn't even see it coming," he said. "If she would have seen it she probably would have tried to dodge it but she didn't even see it coming."

In this case the trailer had only one safety chain. According to the investigative report, it was stretched out and rusty. Local 6 checked out other trailers on the roads and in the dump.

Local 6 watched trailer after trailer, some even swaying side-to-side, piled high with everything from furniture to debris hanging over the sides and back.

"I do this on a weekly basis and have to have all the items tied down," said Edgar Gonzales.

Gonzales modified his trailer, extending the fencing and uses a back gate to ensure nothing inside falls out.

According to the FHP, objects falling off trailers is not uncommon.

In Central Florida, just in 2012, 88 accidents occurred as a result of objects or debris falling from trailers. In 2013, there were 78 accidents.

While most try to avoid driving behind trailers, we have to share the roadways. And in Wanda's case, she was on the opposite side of the road when the trailer came undone, hitting and killing her.

"If you're towing anything make sure its secured right," said the Keyes family.

FHP says if you see trailer on the roadway posing a danger--either items falling out or the trailer--don't hesitate to let the driver know or call *FHP.

Local 6 interviewed a pro and show you how to properly secure a trailer. Click here to see the report.

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