ST. GEORGE – Bad maintenance and faulty equipment likely caused a set of dual wheels to come off of a semitrailer going southbound around the roundabout in St. George, rolling off and hitting a window of the Bloomington branch of Zions Bank at 144 W. Brigham Road Tuesday around 3 p.m.
Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Mark Cooper, a commercial vehicle trooper whose job includes inspecting vehicles before they go down the road, performed the inspection after the incident. The whole dual wheels were still connected, he said.
“It looked like the oil had leaked out that lubricated the axle that held the wheels on,” Cooper said.
The semitrailer traveling from Las Vegas northbound on Interstate 15, exited onto the Bloomington roundabout at Utah’s Exit 4. As it proceeded around the wheels on the right rear trailer came off and rolled up and hit the Zions Bank window.
“It wasn’t his fault,” Cooper said, “it was faulty equipment that caused the wheels to come off.”
The semitrailer was empty, Cooper said, there wasn’t much weight on it and there was another set of wheels that allowed him to continue driving and perhaps be unaware that he’d lost the rear dual wheels.
“Evidently the wheels came off and then the truck (driver) didn’t realize the wheels came off,” Cooper said, who was not part of the initial investigation but called in afterward to perform the inspection. “It was kind of a search for what happened, the police were driving around and then they found the truck.”
Zions Bank Financial Center Manager, Clayton R. Denos, was at the bank when the incident happened. He told St. George News Tuesday that he and other employees felt the building shake when the wheels hit. When he went to see what happened, Denos entered the bank’s conference room and saw that the window had been broken. He and one of the tellers rolled the wheels, reported to be about 3-4 feet high and very heavy, out of the way.
“I inspect the vehicles to make sure I can find the defects before they go down the road,” Cooper said, “it’s for the safety of the motoring public.”
The dual wheels are probably over 300 pounds, he said, and when they break free they pick up speed, it’s a pretty big danger.
On the roundabout, that speed was likely 25-30 mph when they came off and spun into the bank. Any faster, Cooper said, they would’ve picked up speed. They could have killed someone.
“They just go across the interstate and they’re traveling very quickly and they’re so heavy and they bounce,” Cooper said of other incidents he’s seen. “It’s destruction.”
- Wheels roll off semitrailer, crash into Zions Bank
- Semitrailer overturns on Bloomington roundabout
- Another bank robbery in Bloomington, under investigation
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