Random victims of negligence
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Random victims of negligence

Tyson Merrifield | Died: Aug. 8, 2007 Location: Near Billings, Mont. The 26-year-old roofer and ironworker was killed when his pickup was struck head-on by a horse trailer. Both the trailer’s hitch and its safety chains had broken, a police report said. ()
Susan Kaiser | Injured: March 9, 2007 Location: Jackson Township, N.J. A landscaping trailer detached from a dump truck and plowed into a school minibus, severely injuring Kaiser, 58, the driver. The trailer’s hitch was worn and its brakes didn’t work. The landscaping company paid $1,078 in fines and fees. ()
Karen Simpson | Died: Jan. 17, 2007 Location: Glynn County, Ga. Simpson, 48, was killed when a runaway trailer struck her Chevy Blazer. The trailer came loose because its coupler was too wide to secure the hitch ball on the truck towing it. The driver was sentenced to 90 days in jail for second-degree homicide. ()
Charles Lewis | Died: Jan. 4, 2006 Location: Lee’s Summit, Mo. Lewis, a 59-year-old postal worker, was decapitated when a runaway trailer hurtled across a highway median and smashed into his SUV. The trailer’s coupler was too large for the hitch ball on the truck pulling it, and its emergency braking system was inoperable. ()
Erika Hills | Died: Aug. 17, 2005 Location: Napa County, Calif. Hills, a 61-year-old socialite and philanthropist, was killed when a runaway trailer cut her car nearly in half. The trailer had not been properly attached and lacked an emergency braking device required by California law. ()
John T. Lotter | Died: Aug. 4, 2005 Location: Oconto County, Wis. Lotter, 42, died when a trailer separated from a pickup and struck his GMC Sierra. The pickup’s hitch ball was too small to fit securely within the trailer coupler. The trailer’s safety chains were also inadequate and its emergency braking system didn’t work. ()
Earl J. Buetow | Died: Dec. 15, 2004 Location: Northern Los Angeles County Buetow, 74, was driving home from a medical appointment when a trailer decoupled and an SUV swerved to avoid it, plowing into his truck. Police found that the trailer had been improperly hitched. ()
Robin Teller | Died: Aug. 9, 2003 Location: Hillsdale County, Mich. Teller, 41, was killed by a runaway trailer while walking with a friend on a country road. The friend suffered severe leg injuries. The driver was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and negligent homicide. He was sentenced to a year in jail. ()
Susan Philpott | Died: June 29, 2001 Location: Niceville, Fla. Philpott, 34, was walking with her son, 3, and twin daughters, 1, when a trailer carrying concrete blocks broke loose, plowing into her; the children were unharmed. The driver was sentenced to three years in prison for negligent manslaughter. ()