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Driver at fault in runaway garbage truck incident

The garbage truck wedged itself between two homes and crushed a sandbox where one family's children often play.
January 28, 2014 - 10:54 AM

VERNON - An incident involving a runaway garbage truck that crashed between two Vernon homes was caused by human error, not a mechanical failure, say police.

Around 11:30 a.m. last Tuesday, a Progressive Waste Solutions garbage truck went sailing down a steep section of 40th Avenue without its driver. It landed smack dab between two houses on 15th Street, a trail of wrecked fences, rock walls and children’s toys spread out behind it.The truck grazed one home and ripped the balcony off the other. Luckily, no one was hurt.

Witnesses said the 53-year-old driver and lone operator, who had been out of the vehicle picking up someone’s garbage at the time, chased the truck but was powerless to stop it. One of the homeowners talked to him and said he looked like he was in shock.

Following the incident, the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement agency ordered a mechanical inspection of the truck. RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk says everything was functioning properly.

“If everything was working then it came back to driver error,” Molendyk says.

The driver was issued a ticket for having an unsecured motor vehicle, an $81 fine.

“Here’s a guy that probably stops that vehicle between two and five hundred times a day. What happened is a very unfortunate incident—maybe he didn’t step down or pull up hard enough (on the emergency brake) and on the hill away it went. Is there anything to learn form it? Yes, I think the fellow probably learned his lesson,” Molendyk says.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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