68-year-old Albert Geerders of Ronkonkoma was hit and killed by a commercial truck driver in the parking lot of a Nesconset business on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Multiple outlets report that the truck was backing up at the time the crash occurred. Sadly, Geerders was pronounced dead at the scene.
The fatal crash occurred at around 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of a shopping center on 279 Smithtown Boulevard, according to Patch. The driver of the vehicle was a 30-year-old Nesconset man named Daniel Curcio, who stayed on the scene. The Suffolk County Police Department Motor Carrier Safety Unit performed a vehicle safety check at the scene, and detectives are asking anybody with information about the fatal crash to call 631-854-8452.
Our hearts go out to the loved ones who Albert Geerders leaves behind.
Motorists need to be extremely careful when operating their vehicles in reverse. Driving in reverse can be dangerous because it naturally obstructs your line of sight and makes it more difficult to maneuver your vehicle, particularly when driving a large commercial vehicle as was involved in this case.
Crashes that occur while a vehicle is in reverse and strikes a pedestrian or cyclist is sometimes referred to as a “backover” crash. On an annual basis, backover crashes cause roughly 300 fatalities and 18,000 injuries, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The data also suggests that when a commercial truck is involved, rather than a pedestrian vehicle, the fatality rate increases dramatically. Commercial truck drivers need to be aware of the immense responsibility they have.
It is also noteworthy that this accident occurred in a parking lot, which can be a dangerous place for motorists and pedestrians. Roughly 50,000 crashes, 60,000 injuries, and 500 deaths occur in parking lots and parking garages every year, according to data from EHS Today.
Polling data suggests that motorists do not always operate their vehicles as safely in a parking lot as they normally might. In a poll conducted by the National Safety Council, drivers indicated that they would be willing to engage in the following tasks while driving through a parking lot:
- Make a phone call (66%, versus 44% when driving on a highway)
- Use a GPS system (63% versus 24%)
- Change their music (58% versus 34%)
- Text (56% versus 16%)
- Use social media (52% versus 15%)
It is unfair to say for certain that the driver of this truck was engaged in any of these activities, or any other distracted driving behaviors, when this fatal crash occurred. The investigation will hopefully reveal the complete circumstances which led to Albert Geerders being hit and killed. One thing that is certain, however, is that this fatal accident provides a tragic reminder of the heartbreak that motorists can cause when they do not operate their vehicles with due care.
The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have an extensive history of successfully litigating fatal motor vehicle accidents, such as this $7,250,000 settlement for a mother and son who were killed in a Long Island crash. If somebody you love has been seriously injured or killed in a car or truck crash, call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form to receive a free legal consultation.