A truck driver died Friday night one day after he was reportedly run over by his own rig at a U.S. postal distribution center in Urbandale.
Carl Magee, 46, of Pekin, Ill.,reportedly jumped onto his truck Thursday afternoon to stop it after it slipped out of gear and started to roll through the parking lot at the Des Moines Network Distribution Center, according to an Urbandale police accident report. Magee then lost his balance and the truck ran over his arm, police said.
Magee died from his injuries shortly before 9 p.m. Friday at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, a hospital official said.
An employee told The Des Moines Register Friday that the accident could have been prevented.
James Aten, the center's safety captain, said for several years protocol was to have truck drivers park their rigs, and then a tractor-trailer operator would take the trailer to the dock in a specialized truck that would help back it in for unloading.
The procedure was changed a year and a half ago; now drivers are asked to back their rigs into the dock. This is the fourth runaway truck incident at the center since the policy change, Aten said.
"These drivers are coming in off the road driving for 10 hours, and they're tired. Instead of parking it, having our operators take it the last 20 yards, they've been having (drivers) do that," Aten said.
"Everybody in my department knows that it's foolish and stupid; and we've let people know that. But the powers that be are stubborn and think they're saving a couple minutes," he said. "I guess they're weighing trying to save a couple minutes to safety."
The company is currently investigating how the incident happened, said Shirley Smith, manager of Safety and Health for the U.S. Postal Hawkeye district office. Magee is contracted with MCA Trucking and not an employee of the postal service.