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Accident Kills Woman Truck Driver

A truck driver from Madison, S.D., was crushed to death in the City of Industry as she tried to catch up with her runaway tractor while unhitching a load, authorities said Sunday.

Valerie Jean Long, 38, was pronounced dead in the parking lot at 18003 Courtney Court at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Lynn Helbing.

Long was apparently disconnecting her trailer when she noticed the tractor was in neutral and had begun rolling forward, Helbing said. Long, who was on the passenger’s side, tried to run around the front of the cab to put the brakes on.

“Obviously, she was trying to save herself,” but was pinned between the tractor and another trailer parked nearby, Helbing said.

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