An inspection of the truck by the New York State Department of Transportation found eight violations, five of which would have been grounds for pulling the truck off the road.
For years, motorists and safety advocates have been concerned about the increased presence of large trucks on the nation's roads—both on the highways, and on busy streets within the city core. Even at the height of rush hour with dozens of cars and hundreds of pedestrians jockeying for position in any given intersection during any given minute of a typical workday, large semi trucks and tractor-trailers wind their way through the confusion.
Pity the occupants of any car, or pedestrian who gets into the path of one.
That's what happened June 23rd in New York City. A pedestrian, simply out walking on one of the city's thousands of miles of sidewalks, was suddenly and tragically killed after being struck by the large truck, loaded with fill, at Canal Street and the Bowery in Chinatown.
Adding to the tragedy is the fact that the truck, licensed with a firm in New Jersey, should not have had that load of fill at all. According to a spokesperson representing New York City's Business Integrity Commission, C.P.Q. Freight Systems is only allowed to transport waste through New York. It is not licensed to pick any waste up within the city.
As it happened, the driver—Alejandro Fallo—picked up a load of fill in Brooklyn and was on his way to dump the debris in New Jersey, even though he did not have the required registration that permitted him doing so. The President of the company, Osleivy Gomez, faces the misdemeanor charge of unlicensed collection of trade waste.
It is not known if any more charges will be forthcoming given the fact that there were injuries, and a death stemming from that unlicensed activity. The condition of the truck notwithstanding had the driver not picked up the load of rocks, dirt and earth on June 23rd, four people would have been spared injury and a fifth would be walking around today.
The victim of this tragic trucking accident was not identified. It is not known if the victim was male or female, married or single, father or mother, child or adult. No matter. The fact remains that someone's son or daughter is no longer going to be coming home for Christmas. A child may have to endure the premise of summer without a parent, or a sibling. A future is lost, friends have been cast adrift.
Aside from the victim's immediate family, dozens and potentially hundreds of individuals could be affected by this needless tragedy.
Needless, because someone did something they should not have done all in the cause of making a buck. It's not known if the driver was ordered by the truck owner to make the pick-up, or if the driver took it upon himself to accomplish the delivery, even though he did not have the required permits to do so. It is worth noting that, so far, the driver has not been charged.
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Other motorists too, behave irresponsibly around a massive truck—cutting them off with their highly-maneuverable imports, and expecting large semis to stop on a dime.
However, it is the irresponsible owners and drivers that not only cause most of the accidents, but also sully the reputations of well-meaning and responsible operators. Too many trucks are overloaded, under-serviced and travel at unsafe speeds.
Perish the thought if they might ever have to stop...
Little wonder that the increase of trucks on America's roads, and the statistical rise in accidents linked to the heightened presence, is giving way to busier dockets in the courts of law.