This case involved an 18-wheeler, a bobtail tractor and pickup truck on an icy bridge on Interstate 84 near Scranton. The bobtail pulled over in front of the pickup in the left-hand lane just before it entered the bridge. It then lost control on the bridge and started to spin. The pickup moved to the right to avoid the spinning bobtail, but struck it in the rear after it bounced off the guardrail next to the left-most lane. The pickup then slid into the right lane. Meanwhile, the 18-wheeler enters the bridge at 65 miles per hour in the right lane, hits the pickup and crushes it against the guardrail. The ensuing fire burned the pickup driver to death.

The driver of the 18-wheeler said there was no reason not to be driving at 65 mph, but there was much evidence that conditions were hazardous. A state trooper passing through the same area before the accident said the bridge was extremely icy, and that 35 mph was the best he could manage safely. The driver of the 18-wheeler had stopped just before the accident for a bathroom break where he would have seen many truckers waiting for better weather. A whole line of large trucks was sitting alongside the road at the top of the hill just before the bridge. The truck driver had turned a minor fender bender into a fatality.

Although the case seems simple enough in retrospect, this was a not an easy reconstruction. It was not at all obvious how the pickup got into the path of the oncoming 18-wheeler. The driver of the bobtail had no idea how the pickup got into the right lane. Comparison of railing damage with damage to the bobtail's front end allowed us to locate the impact point on the railing and to determine that the bobtail was at a 45 degree angle to the railing when it hit the railing. The bobtail started to spin faster as a result of the impact. The pickup hit it when it was practically perpendicular and blocking both lanes. That's why the pickup driver couldn't get out of harm's way.