Submitted by jerleen1 on Mon, 08/31/2009 - 22:39.

This is the scene on the "ring of death" today.  It took big huge tow trucks and the Air Cushion Recovery System hours to get this big truck back on it's wheels.  Several police cruisers were strategically parked creating a blockade while a number of Police Officers attempted to direct the traffic roundabout the roundabout.

An eye witness said he saw the big truck come wheeling up the hill from Steelyard Drive, doing about 25-30 in the cautionary 15mph circle.  He also said that the tires begin to slide on the sticky tarred pavement and the long tankard load began to lean, and flipped over in the blink of an eye.


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Looks like a tanker... what are they allowed to carry here

I know there are lots of nasty chemical plants in the Flats and so lots of trucks coming out carrying nasty chemicals. I wonder are there any restrictions on toxic material transport through this residential neighborhood, especially as you show it is a hazard for trucks.

Perhaps trucks should not be allowed through here at all.

What was this one carrying?

Great photojournalism, capturing a story the mainstream media doesn't have the resources to cover.

Disrupt IT

I was told it was some type

I was told it was some type of powder - and that it was over the load limit also.

NO, the roundabout was designed for big trucks to go around - there is extra width in the area where the trucks coming up out of Steelyard actually enter the turn.  One of the problems is that there are big trucks carrying tar that travels that area on a regular basis and some of the tar drippage causes the pavement to be slick - which creates a slide if the big trucks are traveling at fast speeds.

By the way, I neglected to mention that the driver was only banged up a bit - so serious injuries to my knowledge. 

One interesting aspect of the enitre ordeal was the police officers trying to "handle" the heavy traffic.  West 14th Street was blocked off at Clark and traffic traveling South was diverted to Valentine via Scranton to access 480 West and I 71 South.  But the traffic exiting off of I 71 North, 176 and coming up from the Steelyard was crazy.  They were making u-turns, back the other way, traffic coming around had to be held up for some of the turners to back up, the police were heard yelling , "you can't go that way, it's a $100 if you do,"  Because the flowers and grass was so high in the middle, the police couldn't see the vehicles u-turning from 176 back to I 71 South.  Some of the vehicles came around the circle speeding and the police were yelling for them to slow down.  The on-lookers were yelling, "give 'em a ticket."  The eye witness actually talked with some of the cops before I got there and he said he ask one of the officers if the truck driver would be getting a ticket.  He siad the cop told him that was personal and that he could not say if he or would not be getting cited.

The eye witness also told me that this was the third big truck that had flipped this year.  Since he lives right there, his one big concern was what if that had been a gas tanker since the sewer lines ran right down over the hill past his house and an explosion could wipe out the entire area.

This certaintly had the potential for being a tragedy and even after this truck flipped, with the traffic mess still at full speed, it's a miracle that there were no pile-ups - especially with the vehicles trying to go back the wrong way. 




HazMat placards, dry bulk tankers

Yes Jerleen,

This is the telephone call that no trucking dispatcher/owner wants to get:  

"Hey Office, this is Bobbie, the driver you hired last week.

YOu want the good news or the bad news?

The good news is no one was hurt.  Cool eh?

The bad news is your $200,000 tractor and trailer are scrap.  Oh, and I had to hire a couple of tow trucks - I told 'em they should bill you.

Can you send a cab?"


FOr the business person who operates a fleet of cranes, this is especially the kind of telephone call you wouldn't relish.



In commercial trucking, the operator is responsible to keep his rig under control.  Understanding all the issues that allow control is one reason why the operators of these rigs are required to have a CDL.   This operator endangered everyone by going too fast through a turn - and maybe hooking the center island with his rear tires, perhaps being overloaded and too top heavy - high center of gravity.

Many times the police feel bad for the operator - who will most likely lose their job - and, if no one is hurt, don't even issue any  citations.  

I have been involved with situations where the police will provide an alibi for the driver - "was cut off", "low wire hooked dump truck and tipped it over" (when actually the driver had forgot to lower his dump body all the way down - hooking the wire)

Did the Heil aluminum trailer look like this:

Or This?:

Every commercial hauler is required to placard their rig all on 4 sides if they are carrying any regulated hazardous material. 

Often one can tell just from the type of tanker what the load is, and you can always tell from the placards.

Since this truck is not placarded in the front, since you report that there was a "type of powder" being hauled, since there is nothing significant leaking down the roadway, and since cement is not a hazmat regulated material, my assumption is that this dry bulk tanker looked like the top image in this comment, and was hauling bulk cement up from the silos on the Cuyahoga. 

Lower image of bulk trailer often hauls plastic pellets for injection molding.

All images from Google Images.  Right click image, click on "properties", to see url souce of image.


Yes, it looked like the top

Yes, it looked like the top photo - and the witness who saw the accident said that the driver tried to tell him that a car cut him off.  The witness said there was no other vehicle in sight and he said he told the driver that no one cut him off.  Someone else at the scene also said that they thought it was cement but nobody knew for sure.  I attempted to talk to the police but was told to keep moving.  Problem is, what if the next one is not hauling cement and what happens if a car is in the outer lane - when the big truck goes over?

circle of death

 I was at Steelyards during the time that this happened but took Jennings to Clark then went up. The police were directing traffic at W. 14th and Clark. Traffic was backed up quite a bit. What I don't get is why the police were not at the exit of steel yard drive diverting the traffic from going up to the circle. Too much common sense?

Citizen reporting

  Great job Jerleen--Norm is also correct about Hazmat concerns....there is no oversight or signage there, either.  Certain routes are prohibited from hazardous material traffic. We all need to look at NOACA--our MPO more closely.

A cyclist obeying the law and using the curb lane for commuting would have been squashed by this truck.  Jerleenn, you are right to be concerned about this round-about.  It is not engineered and/or monitored for safe speed--perhaps the paving needs to be straited to force a slow down.

Who designed this "road improvement" at what request

The first time I came upon this circle and the way over the top infrastructure improvements surrounding Steelyard Commons I wondered why the hell anyone spent so much public money for so little value. As you point out, the "improvements" are actually causing public safety problems and are incompetent.

So who designed this circle and the other expensive street improvements for Steelyard Commons, who paid for them, and how much?

Did our bankrupt RTA pay anything into the pot? Were routes changed for this developer?

Who determined what was improved... who was pulling the strings at the top?

Disrupt IT


I hope that you are staying out of the circle. There are other ways to get to steelyards and 176. 

dwebb, Thanks for your


Thanks for your concern.  I am staying out of the circle.  But, my grandchildren who drive sometimes use it to get from their house to mine.  Stay safe everyone and drive defensively.  Not only do you have to follow the rules of the road you have to make sure that the other drivers are doing the same...and be ready to avoid the ones that aren't. 


Hello Jerleen,

This  report of yours gets consistent traffic. 

And I beieve the report will lead to improvement of safety at the intersection, and other rotaries around the world.  Here's why:

When highway and city planners Google "roundabout", your report will appear.  Studies will then need to be conducted to find the radius of the W14 rotary, the surface friction, etc, etc. 

Additionally, there will be lawsuits about the chronic back pain that the truck driver experienced since he flipped his rig over - medical and transport experts will be deposed - your report will confirm that on a dry sunny day a bright blue tractor trailer (nice pic) just up and dumps at this rotary. Medical damages will be paid.

Slowly, conditions will change and improve. 

I bet your report will save a life or two down the road.

Best, Jeff b

PS I used to have a CDL and could legally drive 18 wheelers, overweight, overwidth, and anything but a motorcycle!

Ok, I went and looked at the searches which accessed your report and several today came in from the LA County Fire Department hazmat team.  I bet that training in the Los Angeles County fire department is using your report for haz mat training.  (i notice the bag of speedy dry on the grass in your image - used to sop up oil and fuel spills). 

So the hazmat training is a use I had not considered. 

The point here is that everyone's original content reported on realneo has potential for far reaching impacts.   Think LARGE.  ACT LOCALLY - IMPACT GLOBALLY. 

I believe it, anyway....


There have been a lot of fender benders in this circle.

About a year ago, a former traffic engineer for the city told me that this roundabout is too small for the traffic, and that the signage is incorrect.