Dramatic new dash camera footage shows a tractor-trailer truck speeding around a bend on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway Monday morning before tilting over on and flipping onto its side, Brooklyn Paper can exclusively reveal.
The video was shot by Chris Wiackley who was driving a fuel oil tanker on the opposite side of the roadway toward Queens near Flushing Avenue on April 26, when he saw the heavy-duty vehicle careen toward the divider as dust and debris came flying.
“He’s skidding across the lanes and then — boom — he hits the divider, the debris is just showering into my lane of traffic,” Wiackley told Brooklyn Paper. “It was one of those days where you’re like, ‘Is today your last day, is today checkout day?'”
The seasoned truck motorist said the other truck operator must have been going well above the 45 miles-per-hour speed limit, causing him to lose his balance as he came around the tight bend between Flushing and Park avenues.
“That’s a hard right turn. He must’ve been doing at least 70 [miles per hour],” said Wiackley, who drives on the busy highway every day delivering fuel for the firm S.J. Fuel Co. on Third Avenue in Gowanus. “He’s making that hard turn at a high rate of speed and he can’t hold that turn. You see the truck start to lean to the left, the back wheels start to come up off the ground.”
A camera filming the inside of Wiackley’s truck shows him instinctively duck when he sees the crash, as the oncoming vehicle skids towards him but he is saved by the median divider.
“The divider basically saved my butt,” he said.
Wiackley feared the worst for the other driver and immediately dialed 911 to call emergency services to the scene.
“‘This guy’s dead,’ first thing in my mind,” he said. “I’ve seen accidents, people rear-ending each other, but not people flipping over.”
Luckily, neither the driver nor anybody else was seriously injured in the crash, the authorities said Monday, however some 100 gallons of diesel fuel spilled onto the road, which Fire Department hazmat units had to contain and clean up.
The driver, 39-year-old Yoasmir Geronimo of New Jersey, told police that the wind and the curve in the road caused the load to shift and the truck to roll on its side. He sustained only minor injuries to his face.
But cops discovered that Geronimo had expired plates from the Garden State and that his New York State driver’s license had been suspended, so they arrested him on aggravated unlicensed operator charges, according to Department spokeswoman Detective Sophia Mason.