Deadly accident at Washington, D.C. AirportAuthor: Portner & Shure
Deadly Accident at Dulles Airport Now Being Blamed on Serious Safety Flaws. In 2012, Southwest Airlines ramp agent Jared Dodson was driving an empty baggage tug with four carts attached as he headed toward Concourse B at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. He reached Taxiway B and continued on when a 35-ton mobile lounge with several passengers onboard was headed right at him at a much higher speed. The driver of the mobile lounge never saw the baggage tug that Dodson was driving and smashed into two of the empty carts, causing Dodson to get thrown under the wheels of the mobile lounge. Dodson was crushed and later died.No charges were ever filed against the mobile lounge driver and few answers or explanations were given to Dodson’s family. The Dodson family attorneys investigated the accident and their experts concluded there were “serious safety flaws” and “confusion over the rules about the Dulles runways.”They also found that the airport lacked a risk management system. The airport responded that the mobile lounges were safe and Dodson “simply had driven into the lounge’s path and failed to wear his seatbelt.”
The Dodson’s sued theMetropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), who just last month paid a $2 million wrongful death settlement to the Dodson family.MWAA claims that the settlement does not mean it is admitting any fault in the accident.
According to the airport manager, the mobile lounges always have the right of way, except with aircraft or emergency vehicles with flashing lights. Over the last ten years, there have been very few accidents involving the mobile lounges and this has been the only fatality.
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