Tragedy occurred when 81-year-old Gloria Prietto was struck and killed by a dump truck in Bay Shore, Long Island on the morning of Friday, November 16, 2018. The accident occurred on the Sunrise Highway South Service Road near Redmond Avenue.
The dump truck in question is owned by Jet Sanitation, a garbage collection company based out of Central Islip, New York. The driver, 41-year-old Gerald Hautman, stayed on the scene, and police are still investigating the incident. They are also asking anyone with information about what occurred to call the Third Squad at 631-854-8352.
This senseless accident comes at a time when the media and law enforcement spotlight is pointed at the flagrantly unsafe practices of the New York sanitation industry. On October 12, Alberto Leal was killed while walking within a marked crosswalk by a garbage truck which was driving the wrong way down a one-way street. That same month, a 43-year-old cyclist was seriously injured when he was struck by a private garbage truck right near Rockefeller Center. Back in April 2018, an elderly man named Leon Clark was struck and killed by a private sanitation truck as he tried crossing the street in the Bronx.
This uptick in serious accidents and fatalities caused by garbage trucks led to a week-long crackdown of the private sanitation industry by the NYPD. The results of this crackdown were frankly astounding: 132 of 142 trucks that the NYPD inspected were declared unsafe to drive for defects such as malfunctioning brakes, low tire pressure and defective steering columns. In just 7 days, 1,070 summonses were issued to private garbage truck drivers. Before the crackdown occurred, 1,826 such summonses were issued in all of 2018.
The NYPD says that private garbage trucks in New York have taken at least 20 lives since 2016.
While the circumstances surrounding this incident are not yet clear, questions will certainly be asked about Jet Sanitation’s safety record. And while a review left on the Internet may amount to nothing more than hearsay, the Google and Facebook reviews available for Jet Sanitation are rather haunting in view of this accident:
- Two separate Facebook reviews written on January 2, 2015, claimed that “[a]n aggressive driver from Jet Sanitation just ran us off the road”
- A Google review written in July 2018 again claimed that a Jet Sanitation Driver “driving on [S]unrise [H]ighway almost ran us literally off the road as he proceeded to turn into the lane I was currently in.”
While it should again be emphasized that no definitive statements regarding fault can yet be made in this incident, it is compelling to hear two different drivers complain of aggressive driving behaviors from Jet Sanitation employees three years apart, with the location of one complaint coming on the very highway right next to where Miss Prietto tragically lost her life.
Nothing can ever undo the emotional trauma that family members and friends suffer when a loved one loses their life due to somebody else’s actions. When these tragic circumstances are forced upon us, however, a wrongful death attorney can help to recover compensation for the loss of life, providing economic relief at a time when grief is so overwhelming.
The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have a proven history of providing strong results for family members following a wrongful death, such as this $5 million settlement after a mother of four was tragically struck and killed by a garbage truck in Manhattan.
If you or someone you know have recently lost a loved one due to somebody’s carelessness, negligence, or outright incompetence, call 212-736-5300 to speak with an experienced lawyer who can provide you with a free legal consultation and explain your rights in the wake of a life-altering tragedy.