November 14, 2014 9:32 AM

Loose-trailer crash kills two in Meade County
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Two Liberal residents were killed Thursday after a trailer being towed by a pickup came loose and struck an oncoming vehicle in southwest Kansas, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol report.

By Rick Plumlee

The Wichita Eagle

Two Liberal residents were killed Thursday after a trailer being towed by a pickup came loose and struck an oncoming vehicle in southwest Kansas, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol report.

Salvador Garcia, 71, and Consuelo Z. Garcia, 68, were passengers in a 1998 Chevrolet minivan that was hit by the trailer about 3 p.m., the report said. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

A 2012 Ford F250 was northbound on Meade County Road 4, about 12 miles north of Plains, when the trailer it was towing came loose and crossed the center line. The trailer hit the southbound minivan, the report said.

J. Santos Garcia, 46, who was driving the minivian, was taken to the hospital with injuries, the report said. His condition wasn’t available.

Brian Stump, 44, of Hugoton, was driving the pickup. The accident is still under investigation, the highway patrol said.

This was the second incident in the past three months in Kansas where a trailer has come loose and caused a fatality. A loose trailer killed a Hutchinson couple Aug. 16 in Great Bend.

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or Follow him on Twitter: @rickplumlee.
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The Governor Of Kansas Is so ignorant when he knows of a cop and his wife that was killed almost Two...say it with me...(2) years and nobody in Kansas is addressing trailer safety just like in Henrico County VA and In Stupid Washington DC?   Another loose trailer hits a car in Kansas...say it with me...Are they going to get the FBI to investigate how the trailer came loose like the DA in Barton County did in the Howard Baker accident?

Every Death...Every Injury the families of the victims will get a photo of the Political Leaders who are responsible for this carnage and total lack of safety awarnes all political leaders are on notice that we will expose each and every one of you who do nothing.

August 18, 2014 2:06 PM

Memorial fund set for children of couple killed in loose-trailer crash
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Breaking News! The Killer Is Still Not Going To Be Going To A Court Date!  Why?

Kan. woman hospitalized after unhitched trailer, pickup accident.

April 22, 2016 by Post Staff 1 Comment

[police accident emergency crash] BARTON COUNTY – A Kansas woman was injured in an accident just before 1p.m. on Friday in Barton County.

Sheriff’s Officers responded to an injury accident on K-96 Highway near milepost 178 just northwest of the City of Great Bend.

The Barton County Sheriff’s Department reported a 2015 GMC truck pulling a utility trailer, driven by Richard L. Kasselman, a64, of rural Great Bend was westbound on K-96 just north of Great Bend.

The trailer came unhitched from the truck. It crossed left of center and hit an eastbound 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup driven Loretta L. Lauer, 52 of rural Pawnee Rock.

The trailer went under the Dodge pickup causing it to roll two times.

Lauer sustained numerous injuries and was transported to Great Bend Regional Hospital, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Kasselman was not injured.

The accident remains under investigation.

My Comments..:

Let me guess.....the DA is going to have the FBI investigate why the defective trailer came loose and no charges will be brought against the careless owner who did not use safety chains...but hey the cops attack us if we don't wear a seat belt but never pull over idiots who tow trailers with no safety chains. The fine needs to be 1,000 dollars...and a it is in Georgia...we got this passed ..Google...Dangerous Trailers Georgia House Bill 123

And even more:

Barton County DA you need to be fired for not bringing Mr. Howard Baker to trail.....Shawn and Danielle is looking down from heaven in disgust by your lack of leadership. having the FBI do a study on the hitch and trailer without releasing the pictures is wrong. The World knows that Mr. Howard Baker did not have his safety chains on the trailer and did not use the hitch pin.....shame on your office and you need to be held accountable by getting disbarred from the legal profession...I am going to report you to the Kansas Bar Association. dangerous trailers DOT org will name the names...and every Governor all over the United States that keeps ignoring why homemade trailers, defective trailers and defective hitches keeps killing people .....Google...Dells Used Duct 7 States you can tow a trailer with duct tape.

Kansas fatalities among loose-trailer incidents

By Kelton Brooks The Hutchinson News
Dec 1, 2014
CommentsType your paragraph here.

Loose and improperly attached trailers are becoming a fatal and growing problem.

In the past three months, four Kansas residents have died from trailers coming loose and striking them on the highway. There have been 70 accidents in 2014 involving trailers coming loose from vehicles, with 12 people suffering injuries, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation. In 2012, there were 112 accidents with eight deaths and 40 injuries.

Reno County Sheriff Deputy Shawn Schellenger died in the hospital on Aug. 17 from injuries he had sustained when a trailer struck him and his wife, Danielle, in Great Bend. Danielle died on impact the day of the accident, Aug. 16. Their 7- and 5-year-old children were on a motorcycle with others who witnessed the accident.

Most recently, a Liberal couple, Salvador Garcia, 71, and Consuelo Z. Garcia, 68, died Nov. 13 when a loose trailer crashed into their minivan in Meade County.

Both accidents are still under investigation.

The tragic accounts of the four deaths and many others across the country are a story Ron Melancon is sick of hearing.

Melancon is a resident of Richmond, Virginia, but he has been focusing on Kansas lately. He was involved in a trailer accident when he collided into a 15-foot trailer with no functioning lights 11 years ago and created to shed light on a growing problem that isn’t getting the attention it deserves, he said.

The website lists testimonies from grieving families, statistics on trailer accidents and deaths and Kansas laws on trailers. Melancon also is campaigning for a law to be passed, named after the Schellengers, regarding how to properly secure trailers.

“I’m a nobody who decided to take on the problem,” Melancon said. “I’m trying to tell the world a problem no one is paying attention to. I want to go home and put my daughter to bed like the Schellengers wanted to do. It’s heartbreaking.”

Nationally since 2010, there have been 535 accidents involving trailers, with 21 deaths. A majority of the runaway trailers were the results of a malfunction with the ball and hitch, poor maintenance of the trailer or building a homemade trailer that doesn’t meet traffic requirements.

“I have to sit here and grieve knowing people are dying by this. It hurts. Would you put a child into a homemade car seat or strap them with a defective belt?” Melancon said.

Frank Sell, owner of FTS Trailer Sales in South Hutchinson, said he heard about the Schellenger deaths and identified what he believes is the cause of trailer deaths.

“It’s negligence to the trailer,” Sell said. “I heard about the accident in Great Bend and it’s sad.”

Sell has been working with trailers for 50 to 60 years and has been selling trailers for seven years. He owns a variety of trailer sizes, but no matter the size, every trailer has the same instructions on how to attach it to a vehicle.

Sell said first you grab the coupler, which is a mechanism that is bolted or welded onto the end of a trailer tongue. The coupler fits securely over and pivots on the tow vehicle hitch ball.

Once the coupler is on the hitch ball, you have to put the safety pin in to lock in the coupler, he said. And one of the most important parts that have garnered headlines is the placement of safety chains.

Sell said that by law every trailer is supposed to have safety chains. He said you take the chains and cross or overlap them. Then you attach the chains to your vehicle. According to KDOT, if the ball comes off a vehicle, the crossed chain is designed to catch the coupler and keep it from digging or dragging on the road.

You then want to hook up the lights of the trailer to your vehicle and check whether your lights are working properly.

Kansas law states that manufactured trailers must contain a Vehicle Identification Number and be in compliance with National Association of Trailer Manufacturers standards.

But a homemade trailer requires neither.

Kansas law exempts trailers from registration if the total weight of the trailer and the load being carried do not exceed 2,000 pounds. Farm trailers are exempt from registration, unless the load being carried on the trailer exceeds 6,000 pounds.

“I want a law that will go to every state that every state can emulate and have the law in their honor,” said Melancon. “There should be inspections. Lights should work. Tires shouldn’t be dry-rotted, and chains shouldn’t be rusted.”

Vehicles are allowed to tow two trailers in tandem if there is an anti-sway device on the first trailer and an active braking system on the second trailer.

Kansas law also requires that all trailers have a safety hitch or chain of “adequate strength” in place to maintain a connection between vehicles if the regular hitch fails.

“There is a lot of leeway right there and it can be seen as vague,” said Lt. Josh Kellerman of the Kansas Highway Patrol. “You’re not going to go out and tie a big, thick fishing line to a trailer. I wouldn’t. A normal person wouldn’t believe that’s adequate.”

Kellerman said that when writing a ticket, it’s the officer’s discretion to decide whether the chain is adequate and if the trailer is attached properly. But, he said, a small chain wouldn’t hold a larger trailer; still, ultimately, you’ll have to be the one to articulate it and why you feel that chain is not adequate, depending on how much weight is on it, he said.

Kellerman did acknowledge that anyone making a homemade trailer must get it inspected. He said the Highway Patrol doesn’t perform safety checks but checks for a stolen vehicle and stolen parts.

However, said Kellerman, when someone is pulled over, a trooper can do a quick vehicle inspection if he establishes there is an equipment violation. Kellerman said a trooper will inspect lights, brakes, safety chains and the ball and hitch.

As for a change in the law, said Kellerman, that’s an issue for the legislature to address, but it’s the trooper’s job to spot a violation.

“Adequate may be vague, but an adequate chain is supposed to prevent a trailer from flying down the road and running into someone. But it happens every year.”

 In 1971 J. Standard Baker Quoted " Drivers Towing Trailers  Are Four (4) Times As Unsafe As Those In Cars Alone! 

.By Rick Plumlee

The Wichita Eagle

A memorial fund was established Monday for the two children of a Hutchinson couple who died after their motorcycle was struck by a trailer that broke loose from a towing pickup.

In addition, the Kansas Highway Patrol has joined the investigation into what caused the trailer to break free Saturday in Great Bend.

Donations should be sent to the Schellenger Children’s Memorial Fund in care of the First National Bank of Hutchinson, 1525 E. 17th Ave., Hutchinson, KS 67501, according to the Reno County Sheriff’s Office.

Shawn and Danielle Schellenger died from injuries sustained in the accident. They are survived by their two children, Warren, 5, and Dominique, 7, according to the sheriff’s office.

Both children were present at the time of the crash.

Shawn, 27, a jail deputy with the Reno County Sheriff’s Office, and Danielle, 33, were riding with a group of motorcyclists shortly before noon.

They were westbound in the 5600 block of 10th Street – a four-lane street just west of the city limits – when a trailer came loose from an eastbound pickup, crossed over and struck the Schellengers’ motorcycle, Great Bend police Lt. Bill Browne said.

One of their children was a passenger on another motorcycle ridden by Jeffrey Schellenger, Shawn’s father and the child’s grandfather. He laid down his motorcycle in an “avoidance maneuver,” Browne said.

Jeffrey Schellenger, 55, was treated and released from a hospital. The child was not injured, Browne said

The other child was riding on the back of a motorcycle operated by Reno County sheriff’s Deputy Dustin VanScyoc, according to the sheriff’s office. Vanscyoc wasn’t near the other two motorcycles when the trailer came loose.

The trailer has been seized by Great Bend police, Browne said. A highway patrol investigator is expected to arrive Tuesday to help determine what caused the trailer to come off the pickup.

“For some reason, it popped off,” Browne said. “After the highway patrol investigator looks at it, we’ll know more.”

The 6-by-12-foot trailer was hauling a riding lawnmower, Browne said. “It appears to be a homemade trailer,” he added.

The ball on the pickup’s hitch was also taken by police. It’s not known whether a safety chain was in use.

Danielle died Saturday afternoon at a Wichita hospital; Shawn died Sunday at the same hospital.

Shawn Schellenger was a 2005 graduate of Rose Hill High School; Danielle was from Florida. They met while they were both in the U.S. Army and later became engaged while they were serving in Iraq.

They were married following their Iraq tour.

Since 2010, Kansas has had 534 accidents involving trailers breaking loose from towing vehicles, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Fifteen of those accidents resulted in 21 deaths. Those totals include the Great Bend crash.

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or Follow him on Twitter: @rickplumlee.
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IT's Been 730 Days and 16 Hours Since We Lost Shawn and Danielle Schellenger Does Anybody Care But The Families And Friends?

Ron J. Melancon President
8898 Castle Point Drive
Glen Allen,  VA  23060


Dear Utility Trailer Safety Advocate:

It's Been 730 Days and 16 Hours Since We Lost Shawn and Danielle Schellenger Does Anybody Care But The Families And Friends?

Since the loss of Shawn and Danielle our Nation, Our Society and Family and Loved ones have lost an additional 750 men, women and children by passenger cars that tow trailers.  An additional 40,000 injuries including missing legs, arms and bodies torn apart by passenger cars and vehicles that tow trailers.

6 States have no safety chain law
12 States have no registrations for trailers
Every State has Federal Law violations when they do not enforce the mandate that all trailers over 3,000 GVWR must have a secondary breaking system that just this week took the life of Christine Fogerty
Then 4 in one day in Tennessee

In addition to this the man who decided not to secure his trailer with safety chains and a hitch pin has been free on NO BOND and a endless pushed back and back and back and pushed back trail date Mr. Baker.

When the trail gets started the world needs to see the deplorable condition of the trailer and we the American people need to see the lack of safety chains and a hitch pin that caused the death of these two parents.

We keep asking why since 1975 over 20,000 dead, since 1988 over 1,000,000 injured and in less than two weeks more people will get killed by these defective trailers than defective airbags.

In closing we keep asking this question to our political leaders like U.S. Senator Tim Kaine who under his watch never responded to this VCU report.
Yes our Vice President nominee has ignored our cause and he wants to be our president?
He even ignored the fact that an airplane was hit by a flying trailer:

Question :  Would you put your own child into a "HOMEMADE" baby car seat?  Yes Or No?  Then why are people towing homemade trailers on public roads in front of our families that just killed a teenager in NY?

Question: Why is these trailers built to a "Voluntary Standard"?  See this letter...

In closing and right to the point...all lives matter and its about time our life saving mission gets actin instead of getting visits from our Government Finest to suggest that we should consider moving on.  Right in front of my wife and children we were subjected to this suggestion in such a way. 

All lives matter and its about time we start fixing things in America instead of not doing anything.


Ron J. Melancon