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Recent Garbage Truck Accidents Remind of Dangers

An apparently drunk driver who had been arrested previously for drunk driving plowed into a garbage truck, killing one of his passengers. The 26-year old driver was traveling south on Utica Avenue in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Flatbush when his BMW slammed into the sanitation truck near Avenue D. The accident occurred early on Wednesday morning.

The passenger, aged 22, was taken to Kings County Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Another passenger was listed in serious condition; the driver of the garbage truck was not injured. The driver suffered several broken limbs and is in police custody at Brookdale Hospital after being charged with DWI.

Other accidents involving city and private sanitation trucks have been in the New York news recently. Last week, a Manhattan woman was killed by a garbage truck when trying to retrieve her dog that had escaped from the leash. In June, a garbage truck rammed through a Brooklyn restaurant wall, injuring eight people. Also in June, a city sanitation worker was killed in a collision with another garbage truck.

Garbage trucks are everywhere, and most New Yorkers don't think much about them. However, as these stories show, garbage trucks are dangerous to both pedestrians and drivers and to those who operate them. One source noted that although there are 4.7 deaths for every 100,000 workers across all occupations, there are 46 garbage collector deaths for every 100,000 employees. The author goes on to say that sanitation workers are three times more likely to experience injury or death on the job than police or fire fighters. There have been 17 sanitation worker deaths since 2000.

Although the most recent garbage truck accident is really a drunk driving story, it serves as a reminder to be careful when driving or walking in the vicinity of these large and dangerous vehicles. Because of their sheer size and weight, any trucking accident involving a garbage truck, whether the fault of the sanitation worker or of another driver, is going have to severe consequences.

Source: NY Daily News

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