A sand-spreading truck owned by the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) struck and killed 80-year-old Maria Cruz in the Bronx as she crossed the street at a crosswalk on Tuesday, January 8th, 2019. The truck driver then left the scene, though he has since been located by police.
The truck was making a left turn off E. 138th St. onto Willis Ave. in the Bronx neighborhood of Mott Haven when the sand spreader struck and killed Cruz at around 6:30 a.m. Surveillance video of the hit and run was captured from a nearby store and has since been turned over to the NYPD.
Sadly, Cruz was pronounced dead at the scene.
Although the truck driver initially fled the scene, he was later found at Nelson Diaz Sanitation Garage District 4 in Mott Haven and is now being questioned by police. As of this time, no arrests or summonses have been issued, but the investigation is ongoing, and the unnamed sanitation worker has been suspended.
The truck in question had a plow on the front and has been reported as a 2007 City Sand Spreader, apparently on the road in anticipation of wintry weather. A spokesperson from the NYC Department of Sanitation said in a statement that the agency is cooperating fully with the police investigation, in addition to performing an investigation of their own.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Maria Cruz, who was described by her granddaughter as “Eighty years young, not old… Not an old bone in her body.”
Stories of New Yorkers being seriously injured or even killed in accidents caused by trucks owned by sanitation companies have become far too common. In November 2018, an 81-year-old woman was killed by a privately-owned dump truck in Long Island. A month earlier, a man in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, was struck and killed by a city-owned garbage truck which was driving the wrong way down a one-way road. Earlier that year, another elderly man was struck and killed by a private sanitation truck as he attempted to cross the street in the Bronx neighborhood of Melrose.
When truck drivers do not drive carefully and appreciate the responsibility they’ve been entrusted with, tragic accidents can result, and New Yorkers are the one who pay the price. If you or someone you love have had your life changed as a result of a sanitation truck accident, you want a lawyer experienced in litigating these types of cases, who can advise you on the next legal steps and help you pursue the compensation you are entitled to.
The experienced personal injury lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy have extensive experience litigating garbage truck accidents, including wrongful death, in cases such as:
- $5,000,000 settlement after a mother was killed by a garbage truck in Manhattan
- $3,000,000 settlement for a woman who was struck by a city-owned sanitation truck
- $2,100,000 settlement for a cyclist who was struck by a Department of Sanitation (DSNY) garbage truck in Queens
- $1,500,000 settlement after a city-owned street sweeper caused a motor vehicle accident while it was actually sweeping the street – a case which reached the Court of Appeals, the highest appellate court in New York State