The New Jersey Herald is reporting that a dump truck driver is facing multiple charges in connection with his role in a four-car accident on May 21st in the Township of Vernon, New Jersey.
Twenty-two-year-old Ivan Bustamante of Elmhurst, New York, was given five different summons in relation to the incident. According to police, he was charged with his truck exceeding the weight limits allowed, driving a truck in an unsafe condition, reckless and careless driving, and failing to provide his motor vehicle documents when the accident happened. These charges stemmed from a joint investigation conducted by the state police and the local police department in Vernon, which had the truck impounded for a closer inspection after the accident.
The investigators determined that Bustamante took his dump truck, which was filled with dirt, onto to Breakneck Road from Canistear, which was illegal. The weight limits on Breakneck Road are strict because it is so steep, and the truck clearly exceeded those limits. The brakes on the truck failed as he was driving down the steep road, and this led Bustamante to lose control over the truck as he was trying to get off of Breakneck Road and on to the highway.
He then struck a median on the highway and the truck overturned, spilling dirt and debris all over just as rush hour was getting underway. The route was closed for more than nine hours for cleanup. The dump truck hit another car in the process, and three other cars were also impacted by the incident. Luckily, no one was seriously injured, although some drivers did need medical care.
It has since been reported that the truck belonged to Sinai Trucking, which is based in Newark, but the company has not yet made any statements about the case. Local media outlets are reporting that calls to the company are going unreturned.
This incident has come at an interesting time, as dirt being moved through this area has become a topic of public debate. Recently, Vernon Mayor Harry Shortway has openly criticized the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection over what he has deemed its failure to protect towns like Vernon from the dumping of possibly hazardous dirt that is trucked in from area job sites. Shortway is currently in contact with state and federal officials about the issue and is planning to speak to DEP officials about his concerns in the near future. There are many job sites in the region, and towns like Vernon often see trucks with unknown dirt and materials passing through because of their locations.
One truck can cause serious damage, as this case illustrates, and that is especially true when truck drivers ignore safety rules and companies don’t maintain their vehicles properly. If you have been hurt in an accident involving a truck, you have rights and may be entitled to compensation for your suffering, pain and losses. Speak to an attorney, like a Denver truck accident lawyer, about your truck accident case as soon as possible.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into truck accident cases.