A truck driver preparing to leave the Port of Charleston was fatally struck by a crane Wednesday.
A truck driver had exited his truck after being loaded with a container before reportedly being struck by a rubber-tired gantry-crane.
The Post and Courier newspaper reported that Calvin Jacobs, 64, died at the scene.
OOIDA Member Ian Dearden, a Manchester, UK, native, has worked at the Charleston port daily for most of his American trucking career.
Dearden said he ran into Jacobs often at the port.
“A lot of people know him. He was very pleasant,” Dearden said. “He never had a bad word to say about anything. The ladies in the security office were the most upset. They always said he would talk with them. It’s just a real tragedy.”
Dearden said he believed the last port death occurred at least 10 years ago.
The loading cranes have arms with tennis balls designed to sense pedestrians and shut the cranes down, Dearden said.
Port workers wear helmets, Dearden said. Truckers, he said, aren’t required to.
“They’ve got safe guidelines, but obviously something is amiss,” Dearden said. “They need to update the loading system so you don’t have to keep getting in and out of the truck. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t gotten out of the truck.”
– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer