Joseph Kelly Killed by Garbage Truck Collision in Hauppauge

Wednesday, July 5th, 2023

Joseph Kelly of West Islip, New York tragically lost his life on the morning of July 3 after a garbage truck unexpectedly collided with his car in a violent five-vehicle crash. According to ABC news, the accident occurred just before 9 a.m. on Monday in the Town of Islip, located in Suffolk County. At the intersection of Express Drive South and Motor Parkway, four vehicles were stopped at a red light, including a Honda Accord driven by Kelly. The garbage truck, heading east on Express Drive South, suddenly careened through the intersection without appearing to brake. It rear-ended Kelly’s Honda first, then sideswiped a school bus before rear-ending a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The force of this impact caused the Jeep to hit a Toyota Matrix, which went spinning into a utility pole. Further investigation, including a detailed review of surveillance footage from a local gas station, will be needed to confirm the exact mechanics of the accident and original locations of all five vehicles.

Patch reports that all other drivers and passengers, including three toddlers who had been on the bus, fortunately survived the accident without major injuries. However, in a senseless tragedy, Kelly was pronounced dead at the scene. We offer our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones as they navigate this profound loss.

Footage from ABC showed images of a devastating crash, depicting a crumpled Jeep, and a Honda torn into pieces. Four of the vehicles, including the garbage truck, have been impounded for safety checks.

The truck was driven by 51-year-old Jaswinder Singh, who was not injured; according to police, Singh has been issued multiple summonses. The truck itself was a custom 2023 vehicle built for the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) by Mack Trucks, Inc. When the crash occurred, it was possessed by the vendor. Local reports confirm that the Town of Islip had not contracted the truck. A complete investigation is ongoing by Suffolk County Police Fourth Squad detectives.

The Devastating Risks of Truck Accidents

The tragedy in Hauppauge emphasizes the danger posed by truck accidents. Every year from 2010 to 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found more than 50 crashes of this specific type—multiple-vehicle fatal crashes involving large trucks—in New York State alone. In 2021, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported 5,788 deaths in the United States linked to large truck collisions. These national statistics have seen an alarming 47% increase over the past 10 years.

Large trucks, defined by the NSC as weighing over 10,000 pounds, present a tremendous risk to smaller vehicles and their occupants in any collision. While the exact weight of the garbage truck involved in Monday’s accident is unknown, it likely meets this definition, as DSNY trucks regularly weigh 16 tons (32,000 pounds). 

There are many potential causes of truck accidents. Driver fatigue, distraction, and substance use are common hazards. Trucks also become unpredictable when overloaded, poorly maintained, or driven on defective roadways. For these reasons, strict federal trucking regulations should be followed by all drivers, vendors, and employers.

Obtaining Justice for Victims of Truck Collisions

Following the loss of a loved one, legal guidance is difficult to consider, but it is often highly consequential. Determining liability in truck accidents can be a complex process that demands the attention and expertise of a seasoned attorney. The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy have a proven record of securing maximum compensation for accident victims and their families.

Some of our results for truck accidents include:

To speak with one of our garbage truck accident attorneys, call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form online. We serve New York and New Jersey.


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