After their vehicle collided with a semi-truck—trapping them underneath the big rig—two men in Queens had to be extricated by first responders and taken to a hospital, where the driver of the vehicle was listed in critical condition. Recent weeks have seen a series of dangerous semi-truck accidents that have injured or killed motorists around Manhattan, New York. The string of truck crashes includes an incident wherein the upper level of the George Washington Bridge was closed to New Jersey-bound traffic and a suspected drunk driving truck accident that resulted in one fatality and two injuries.
Serious Injuries After Queens Truck Accident
April 17, 2017
The Queens truck accident took place at about 6:20 p.m. on Monday, April 17, 2017, as two men in a 2014 Dodge Charger traveled west on Rockaway Boulevard, not far from John F. Kennedy Airport, in Rosedale.
Reports suggest the driver of the Charger was speeding and trying to pass a green semi-truck, which was attempting a left-hand turn into an air freight facility on the same street. The Dodge Charger slammed into the portion of the big rig’s trailer closest to the cab and became lodged under the trailer. In photos, a severely crumpled vehicle that looks nearly flattened from sliding underneath the semi is shown. Inside the car, the driver and passenger were trapped awaiting emergency response teams.
Mike Bogdan was driving behind the semi-truck and witnessed the Queens truck accident. He recounted the rescue efforts to ABC7NY.
“The fire department tried to extricate the people from the car,” Bogdan said. “Chaotic scene. They broke the whole truck, the whole car, and then they pulled them off.”
Bogdan also spoke with NY Daily News and said the scene after firefighters pulled the two men from the vehicle was disturbing.
“There was blood on the hand, legs, the face…I’m shaken up looking at it,” Bogdan stated. “The (truck) driver was in shock too.”
Both the driver of the Dodge Charger and his passenger were taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Richmond Hill after they were extricated from the vehicle. The driver, a 23-year-old man from Far Rockaway, was listed in critical condition with head trauma, and the passenger, a 28-year-old man from Far Rockaway, was listed in serious condition. Some reports indicated a third person had been inside the vehicle and had declined medical treatment at the accident scene.
The semi-truck driver did not sustain any injuries in the collision, and the driver of a 2016 Ford Expedition that was hit with debris from the Queens truck accident was also unharmed.
Officials did not state the cause of the New York truck accident and an on-scene investigation continued into the evening.
Truck Accident Brings George Washington Bridge Traffic to a Standstill
April 5, 2017
A flatbed tractor-trailer. It’s believed that the Rite-Aid truck rear-ended the flatbed truck and its front was severely crushed, becoming stuck under the back of the flatbed truck. Both truck drivers sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to Englewood Hospital.
The Port Authority Police issued a summons for both truck drivers, for various unsafe driving issues. They issued the summons to the flatbed truck driver, a 46-year-old man from Fresno, Texas, for “stopping on the roadway.” The summons they issued to the Rite-Aid truck driver, a 57-year-old man from Levittown, Pennsylvania, was for “imprudent speed.”
With fuel spilled on the roadway and an investigation into the crash underway, all lanes of the westbound upper level were closed, and traffic was diverted to the lower level. By the 7:00 a.m. morning rush, the lanes were still closed, and travelers faced delays of approximately 90 minutes. Even Manhattan-bound drivers felt the impact of the accident, with delays of at least an hour because of the crash.
Commercial drivers were affected as well, with the lower level of the George Washington Bridge shut off to commercial traffic for a time, leading them to pursue other routes, like the Lincoln Tunnel, which soon faced its own 90-minute delays.
Drunk Driving Suspected in Fatal New York Truck Crash
March 27, 2017
Only nine days prior, another semi-truck accident near the George Washington Bridge snarled traffic during the morning commute. This one, however, carried with it both a fatality and critical injuries.
Twenty-three-year-old Sandu Simranjeet Singh, of Durham, North Carolina, has been accused of driving drunk when he struck a 1997 Toyota sedan as he traveled west on the Cross Bronx Expressway toward the George Washington Bridge ramp. The Toyota was left crumpled beyond recognition, with its three occupants inside, as Singh sped away from the accident scene.
Police pronounced the driver of the sedan—25-year-old Caesar Contreras, a New Jersey resident—dead at the scene, and the two women traveling with him (28 and 39, respectively) were both taken to NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem and listed in critical condition. Police expect both women to recover.
Singh, with the front end of his Volvo big rig damaged from the crash, was caught by police about 10 miles from the accident, at the Vince Lombardi Rest Stop in Ridgefield, New Jersey. Police said that Singh smelled of alcohol and they performed a breathalyzer that confirmed their suspicions (Singh had a blood alcohol level of 0.06% and the limit for a commercial driver is 0.04%).
New Jersey police charged Singh with driving under the influence, but charges from the New York Police Department are still pending and are expected to be more severe.
Singh worked for Markhai Transport Truck, and the owner of the company said that while Singh had an accident-free record, he had only been with the company since October and had been a semi-truck driver for a little over a year.
Each of the recent accidents in New York highlights how devastating truck crashes can be for other drivers on the road.