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Torts keyed to Robertson
Siegler v. Kuhlman
Citation:Supreme Court of Washington, 1972. 81 Wash.2d 448, 502 P.2d 1181.
The Defendant, Kuhlman, had been a driver for Pacific Intermountain Express for around four months. Before leaving the Texaco plant on the night in question, the Defendant inspected the trailer, the lights, hitch, air hoses, and tires. After a satisfactory inspection, he set out driving the truck tank and trailer tank which between the two had a total of 8,600 gallons of gasoline. While running on a highway offramp, he felt a jerk and observed that the tank trailer has disengaged from his tank truck. He stopped the truck without skidding its tires and got out to see that the tank trailer had crashed through a chainlink highway fence and had come to rest on Capitol Lake Drive, a nearby road. He heard a sound, and that was when he observed the fire starting. He stated that he thought the fire spread about 100 feet down the road. When the trailer landed upside down on Capitol Lake Drive, its lights were out.
Seventeen-year-old Carol House was driving home along Capitol Lake Drive from her job in the dark with her headlamps burning. There was a slight impact with an object, a muffled explosion, and then flames erupting from gasoline pouring out of the overturned trailer tank. The flames engulfed her car. House was burned to death in the flames. There was no evidence that an impact occurred on the car she was driving other than that one of the headlights was broken.
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