Utah couple’s cautionary tale on “Secure Your Load” day

Jun 6, 2024, 2:42 PM

Lydia and Alex Kessinger speak to the media on national Secure Your Load Day. Lydia was injured aft...

Lydia and Alex Kessinger speak to the media on national Secure Your Load Day. Lydia was injured after she flew from the back of a truck. She was using her body weight to hold down a mattress. (Adam Small, KSL NewsRadio)

(Adam Small, KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Today, on National Secure Your Load day, Lydia and Alex Kessinger can say that their moving plan wasn’t a great plan.

They’re encouraging others to make sure that loads packed into the back of a pickup truck are properly and safely secured.

They’re speaking from experience.

The Kessinger’s had a lot to get done the day before their wedding about six weeks from the publication date. One chore included moving their king-sized mattress from Provo to their new residence in Spanish Fork.

Instead of rope or ratcheted tie-downs, they used Lydia to weigh down the mattress.

“I was laying on my back,” she said, “trying to keep it (the mattress) down. Not smart.”

Once Alex got the truck up to 50 miles-per-hour Lydia and the mattress flew out of the truck.

“I just remember flying out. I don’t know how high I went, but it was pretty high. And then I remember landing. I don’t remember how I landed. And then I just rolled, on the street,” she said.

Secure Your Load Day

The Kessinger’s shared their story for national Secure Your Load Day, a day to get the word out about safely securing truck loads created in the memory of a young Arizona man who was killed by an unsecured load.

And this is not an isolated incident.  The UHP said that, on average, their troopers respond to 70 unsecured load incidents per day. That’s about 25,000 such incidents per year.

“Load securement is a big issue,” said UHP spokesman, Sgt. Cameron Roden.  “It can pose a big hazard to the public, and to law enforcement.”

Roden said that their troopers deal with more than 700 crashes every year, related to objects that have fallen or flown out of someone’s truck.

His recommendations?

  • Have the proper tools,
  • know the limitations of the tools you use to tie down loads (bungee cords stretch!),
  • place heavier objects on top of lighter objects,
  • use a tarp or net on top of your load, for extra security, and
  • if transporting new furniture, ask a store employee if your tie-down job is sufficient, before leaving.

Lydia had cuts and scrapes after her experience. And she had to visit a hospital and then, a dentist. All of this, on the day before her wedding.

Otherwise, she was okay and said that their ceremony went great. Alex said he’ll use 15 tie downs the next time Lydia wants to ride in the back of the truck.

Simone Seikaly contributed to this report.

Adam Small is a reporter for KSL NewsRadio. He primarily reports on the Great Salt Lake and Natural Resources. Follow him on Facebook and X.  

Simone Seikaly is a digital content producer for KSL NewsRadio. Follow her on X 


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Utah couple’s cautionary tale on “Secure Your Load” day