Blown Away

Do I worry about the wind when driving our motorcoach? We weigh about 45,000 pounds with our tow vehicle. Running a tag gives the coach stability on the road. That, along with the Comfort Drive feature, provides excellent tracking. When big rigs pass, I rarely notice any difference in handling. The coach is generally very stable on the road.

I have driven the coach in high winds. Coming back into Canada one year, we crossed the Burlington Skyway on a windy day. My, my. That was a bit of a nail-biter moment.

When is too much wind an issue?

Common sense would tell us that if the weather office issues a wind advisory alert then we should not be driving.

We always check weather conditions as we go but we have been caught up in bad weather from time to time.

The National Weather Service for the Miller, South Dakota area had issued a weather alert for August 30th and later in the evening they included a picture of tornado activity that had taken place around 6:13pm. The weather alert had highlighted severe storms with the potential to produce large hail, damaging winds and tornados.

Sadly that same tornado had a deadly impact on a fellow motorcoach driver.

73-year-old Paul Nelson was driving his motorcoach, towing a car trailer, southbound on South Dakota Highway 45 when the above tornado struck. The tornado caused the motorcoach and the trailer to detach. The trailer was tossed into the west ditch and it was destroyed. The car was flung some distance away. The motorcoach came down on its roof about 200 yards west of the road in a cornfield.

Paul was killed.

His obituary, which you can read here, includes the following:

The last 25 years, Paul and Cheryl traveled this great country in their motor coach and finally decided Outdoor Resort in Indio, CA was the best 4 -5-month winter destination for them.

Indio is a beautiful spot and ORI is a nice motorcoach resort.

Such a tragic outcome.

Always check the weather. Always drive safe. If there are severe storms in the area, don’t drive the motorcoach.

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