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Trash truck collision kills New Jersey rabbinic student

When your car strikes another vehicle of the same size in a low speed collision, the damage is usually slight or at least confined to property. Replace the car causing the accident with a truck and change the second vehicle to a person. The likelihood of the pedestrian's serious injury is elevated dramatically.

A New Jersey man, a Morristown rabbinic student, was walking just ahead of two friends. The men were headed to a Sunday morning prayer service in Brooklyn. The 25-year-old student reached an intersection first and stepped into the crosswalk.

A sanitation truck rounded the corner and struck the man. A witness in a vehicle directly behind the trash truck saw the accident. The student was killed.

The victim had gone to New York to share in a friend's pre-marriage celebration. One of the men following the student was horrified by seeing his friend hit and ran from the scene. The witness in a minivan behind the truck believes the sanitation truck driver never noticed the person in the crosswalk.

The witness stated the victim saw the truck coming toward him, turned back toward the safety of the sidewalk but could not avoid being struck. The truck rolled over the student. Others who saw the collision noted the pedestrian had the right of way at the Crown Heights crossing.

The 39-year-old trash truck driver had a clean criminal record. No citations were issued or charges filed.

Many trucking accidents can be blamed on blind spots. Mirrors help, but depending on the position of other motorists and pedestrians in traffic, some areas remain invisible to truckers. Peripheral vision difficulties do not excuse a truck driver from accident responsibility.

Negligence does not require intent. Mistakes, not intentions, cause most accidents. Driving errors may not break a law, but they may be enough to convince a civil court a plaintiff deserves monetary relief for injuries.

Source: New York Daily News, "City sanitation truck strikes, kills 25-year-old rabbinic student in Crown Heights" Chelsia Rose Marcius, Reuven Blau and Tina Moore, Feb. 24, 2014

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