‘Secure Your Load Day’ a reminder of deadly danger on MI roads

Kevin Witte, pole impales SUV
Kevin Witte was critically hurt when his SUV was impaled by a pole being carried by a truck. (Sept. 6, 2016)


HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan joins most of the country Tuesday in a push to prevent hundreds of crashes each year with “Secure Your Load Day.”

Kevin Witte, pole impales SUV
Kevin Witte was critically hurt when his SUV was impaled by a pole being carried by a truck. (Sept. 6, 2016)

The declarative day serves as a reminder to drivers to take extra time to ensure items in your truck or trailer are properly restrained.

West Michigan saw the deadly consequences of not doing so in September, when a 44-foot pole crashed into Holland Christian teacher Kevin Witte’s SUV. He died hours later.

“Why did this have to happen to such a good person? Those are natural questions,” said Dan Meester, superintendent for Holland Christian Schools.

kevin witte
An undated courtesy photo of Kevin Witte.

Police said the truck driver hauling the pole didn’t properly secure it. That driver was ticketed for violating the load length, but no criminal charges were filed.

In 2015, 330 crashes in Michigan were because of vehicles with unsecured loads, according to Michigan State Police.

Troopers say a few questions can help you determine if you need to rethink your haul before heading out, including:

  • Have I overloaded my vehicle or trailer?
  • Have I tied large objects directly to the vehicle?
  • Is the entire load secured at the back, sides and top with rope, netting and straps?
  • Is there a chance something might fall or blow out?
  • What would happen to my load if I hit a bump, brake suddenly or hit another vehicle?
  • Would I feel safe driving behind me?

Violators face a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail.