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

Farmer charged with manslaughter after trailer killed two motorcyclists

By Kristine Goodrich kgoodrich@mankatofreepress.com
13 hrs ago


HENDERSON — A farmer did not properly attach a trailer that detached and killed two motorcyclists on a Sibley County highway in June, according to criminal charges filed Friday.

Curtis Marc Petzel, 60, of Arlington, was charged with two felony counts each of second-degree manslaughter and criminal vehicular homicide in Sibley County District Court. He also is charged with reckless driving and careless driving in the June 1 crash on Highway 19 near Sibley County Road 65 west of Henderson.

According to the court complaint and initial State Patrol crash report:

Petzel was pulling an empty 16-foot-long livestock trailer westbound when it detached and went into the eastbound lane.

A family from Aberdeen, South Dakota, was on three motorcycles going eastbound. Marvin Duane Fandrich, 60, and passenger Kathy Lynn Fandrich, 61, were on the front motorcycle. They did not have enough time to stop and crashed into the trailer.

Both of the Fandriches died at the scene. Petzel and other motorcyclists were not injured.

The trailer came off because its ball hitch was not the same size as the tractor’s coupler hitch. The coupler also was rusted and not functioning properly.

The trailer was equipped with a safety chain and breakaway brakes, but Petzel did not use them. They might have prevented the crash if they had been attached, the State Patrol crash reconstruction concluded.

June was the second time Petzel was involved in a fatal crash on the same highway. He rear-ended a car with his pickup in August 2017 in Gaylord. The car was pushed into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist. The motorcyclist was killed.

In that case Petzel said he was daydreaming and did not see the car. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor careless driving and was sentenced to two days in jail, community service and probation.

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Stunning and amazing ground work from the Shelby DA and the police investigating team of Minnesota.  Note in committee meetings that I attend to improve trailer safety time and  time again it is the FARMERS who continue to destroy our basic Nationwide safety standard on all trailers because the FARMERS keep telling the lawmakers that any undue safety  regulations will "Hurt The Family Farm"

Look at the violations he decided to do:

Note This is the first time the DA released this type of information Nationwide!  Often the parties agree with the insurance companies to NON-Disclose this information because they don't want to alert the American people and Attorneys of how bad people are towing defective equipment.


We demand that the DA and The State Police release the pictures of the nature of the trailer as to create outrage Nationwide on the trailers Farmers and ordinary people are towing.


Quote:

The trailer came off because its ball hitch was not the same size as the tractor’s coupler hitch. The coupler also was rusted and not functioning properly.


Quote:

The trailer was equipped with a safety chain and breakaway brakes, but Petzel did not use them. They might have prevented the crash if they had been attached, the State Patrol crash reconstruction concluded


Quote:

Petzel was pulling an empty 16-foot-long livestock trailer westbound when it detached and went into the eastbound lane.


And who is responsible to address "How To Tow" to all --- Nobody except us...No National Training on How To Tow!  Yet everybody well almost everybody keeps trying to shut us up.