UPDATE: Police deem hit-and-run city garbage driver’s collision with cyclist an ‘accident,’ file no charges

Heights ‘trashes’ Slope
The Brooklyn Paper / Ben Muessig

Authorities on Wednesday said they issued no charges or violations to the Department of Sanitation employee at the wheel of a city garbage truck who slammed into a cyclist in Bushwick on Aug. 1, injuring her and driving off before cops stopped the hit-and-run motorist blocks away with help from a good Samaritan.

Police questioned the motorist and victim and deemed the incident an “accident” after interviewing all parties, a department spokesman said.

“Both the bike rider and driver gave us their statements, there’s nothing else to investigate,” said Sgt. Lee Jones. “We believe he accidentally struck her, or she accidentally went into the vehicle — one of those circumstances occurred and she was injured.”

The worker for New York’s Strongest was driving his big-rig on Evergreen Avenue when he struck the 25-year-old near Menahan Street around 8:30 pm as she was pedaling towards Greene Avenue in a bike lane on the one-way street, according to police, who claimed the driver didn’t immediately stop because neither he nor his colleague knew they hit the victim.

“They were unaware that they struck her,” said Det. Hubert Reyes.

The passerby witnessed the crash and caught up with the garbage truck at the corner of Meserole and Varick streets, and authorities later interviewed both Sanitation Department employees inside the truck at a nearby station house, but Reyes could not say what precinct officers questioned them in.

Meanwhile, paramedics rushed the woman to Brookdale Hospital for treatment to cuts on her left arm and internal injuries, and she arrived in stable condition, according to authorities.

But Sanitation Department brass took both workers off the road pending the agency’s own internal investigation, according to a spokeswoman, who said temporarily pulling the employees from the streets is protocol, and that they could be slapped with further “disciplinary actions” pending the result of the department’s probe.

Neither Police nor Sanitation Department reps responded to questions about whether the truck involved in the collision is still on the road or in police custody.

The Bushwick collision occurred the same day that a Police Department employee died after a wheel on a garbage truck belonging to a New Jersey–based private carting company flew off the vehicle and into the victim’s windshield on the Gowanus Expressway, killing him.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.