Driver in major Union City DPW truck accident hit gas instead of brakes, officials say

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The driver operating a Union City Department of Public Works truck that crashed through a gate and overturned onto Route 495 caused the accident when he hit the gas instead of the brakes, the investigation into the incident has found.

Twitter photo courtesy of user @VivianiGoris.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

On Wednesday, July 3rd, shortly after 12:50 p.m., a motor vehicle collision occurred in the
area of 30th Street and Palisade Avenue in Union City in which a Union City DPW garbage truck struck several vehicles before colliding with a protective barrier and ultimately crashing onto Route 495, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said in a statement.

The garbage truck was operated by Eulalio Diaz, 53, who was employed by the Union City
DPW. The initial investigation revealed that while traveling east on 30th Street, the garbage truck struck a Honda Odyssey which then struck an Infinity G35.

The garbage truck then struck a Subaru Imprezza, which in-turn struck a Nissan Murano.

From there, the garbage truck continued to travel east when it mounted a curb and traveled across a median where it struck several flower posts, a traffic light pole and a large decorative clock, authorities said.

The garbage truck continued to travel across Palisade Avenue when it mounted a second curb before striking fencing. It then fell several feet onto Route 495 west. Debris from the upper level collision struck a Bolt bus and a Volkswagen GTI which were both traveling on Route 495, police said.

There were a total of 12 individuals involved in this incident who were transported by Emergency Medical Services to area hospitals to be treated for their injuries.

The subsequent investigation and crash reconstruction by the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit has revealed that the primary cause of the collision was driver error and that the driver, Diaz, applied pressure to the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal, authorities said.

Diaz had previously attributed the accident to a mechanical error.

Suarez credited the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit for leading
the investigation, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, the Union City Police Department and the Secaucus Police
Department for assisting in the investigation.

She also thanked the North Bergen Police Department and the Weehawken Police Department with providing crime scene security on the day of the incident and all medical personnel, including North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue, for assisting on the day of the incident.