A San Diego man has died after the 18-wheeler he was driving in Nevada was going more than 100 miles per hour when it went airborne, slammed into a home and burst into flames.
Frederick Matthews? family is devastated and want to know why the system that was supposed to help truck drivers in serious trouble failed to work.He was trying to stop and pump his brakes and he couldn?t,? said Elizabeth Namowicz, Matthews? mother.
Witnesses said the 41-year-old was hauling a load of lumber while driving at least 100 miles per hour. He went into a runaway truck ramp, which should have slowed him down, but his sister said it did not.We?re not really sure why,? said Gabriella Abbott, Matthews? sister.
The gravel and steep incline of the runaway truck ramp was designed for this very problem.There were reports that there was a pile of gravel,? said Namowicz.? It was piled up and supposed to have been spread out.?After the cab of Matthews? truck hurled into a nearby home, it burst into flames.
There were reports on the Internet that he was yelling and screaming, ?Help me, help me? while his cab separated and was on fire,? said Namowicz.His face was so charred in the fire that we can?t really see his face,? said Abbott.The 19-year-old woman inside the home safely made it outside, but Matthews died at the scene.
Matthews? family said the former El Cajon High School student was experienced with ten years of trucking miles on the road.
After laying him to rest in San Diego, Matthews? family said they will fight for answers to why the ramp and possibly his brakes failed him.
All we know is that he did everything he was supposed to do,? said Abbott.I would not like for any other mother?s son or child to go through that so whatever the investigation does prove I hope they can do something about it,? said Namowicz.Nevada?s highway patrol said it is investigating why the ramp failed to stop the big rig and will also check the truck?s maintenance records.Meanwhile, Namowicz is getting ready to send Matthews? younger brother to Afghanistan. The only comfort for Matthews? grandmother is knowing his brother will be a phone call away.
I will miss that. I won?t hear this voice again,? said Harriet M. Jackson, Matthews? grandmother. ?I loved him so.?