Driver asked for repairs of truck that caused deadly crash |

Driver asked for repairs of truck that caused deadly crash

COLORADO SPRINGS ” An El Paso County dump truck driver asked for repairs to a loose mudflap and metal bracket several times before the bracket broke and the mudflap smashed through a windshield and killed a woman last week, a newspaper reported.

Thomas Edmisten filed four repair requests. The last request was made Thursday, one day before the mudflap bounced off the road and hit Eileen Langan’s sport-utility vehicle. A copy of the request form was obtained Tuesday by The Gazette of Colorado Springs.

“They’re culpable, then,” said Langan’s husband, Daniel Langan, of the county after learning of the repair requests.

Colorado Springs police have impounded the truck and are investigating, Sgt. L.C. Morgan said.

County officials said they do not know how the damaged bracket slipped through the system for detecting safety problems. All vehicles similar to the dump truck were checked after the accident, but workers found no other deteriorating brackets.

“Of course our goal is to put things out there that are absolutely fault-free,” said Tom Delia, superintendent of the Fleet Management Department. “When something like this happens, it’s just truly unbelievable because we put our heart into this thing.”

El Paso County provided dozens of inspection and maintenance reports for the dump truck that showed no reported problems with the mudflap.

The documents in which Edmisten noted the bracket deterioration are submitted for “minor” repairs that aren’t believed to pose a safety hazard and can be done with scheduled maintenance, Fleet Director Praim Mangar said. Mangar said his department has eliminated those repair forms to cut paperwork and ensure no similar problems escape notice.

One document dated June 8 indicated repairs to the mudflap were completed, but Mangar said he couldn’t vouch for the document’s accuracy or explain how the bracket could deteriorate again so quickly.

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