In October 2023, waste management workers emptied a dumpster into their garbage truck during their route through Lynnwood. Unbeknownst to them, Jason Johnson was in the dumpster at the time, so he got thrown into the truck. They called an ambulance when they realized that Johnson was in the truck, but he died soon after arriving at the hospital. He was 38 years old and a resident of Arizona. No additional details have been published about the incident, so it is unclear why Johnson was in the dumpster at the time of the trash pickup or how no one noticed him until after the dumpster had been emptied into the truck.
This is one of the less common scenarios during which people have been injured or killed during the trash pickup routes of garbage trucks. A Spokane auto accident lawyer can help you if you have been injured in an accident where a garbage truck collided with a car, truck, or pedestrian.
Why are Garbage Trucks So Dangerous?
The most obvious danger associated with trucks is that they are big and heavy. The dangers posed by garbage trucks are different from those presented by commercial freight trucks, however. 18-wheelers spend most of their time on the highway; the bad news is that they travel at high speeds and take a long time to brake, but the good news is that you can avoid them by not driving on the highway; they only drive on city streets for a small part of their trip, and even then, only on main roads in commercial districts.
By contrast, garbage trucks drive through residential neighborhoods as well as on main roads, and while they tend only to do two pickups per week from single-family homes in suburban neighborhoods, they make their rounds several times per day to empty the dumpsters of apartment complexes and shopping centers. They make frequent stops, which means that they do not travel very fast, but it also means that their movements are unpredictable; you cannot anticipate their movements based on traffic lights, for example.
The people at the highest risk of getting hit by garbage trucks are the waste management workers themselves, followed by motorists who are driving into or out of driveways. On city streets, most garbage truck collisions are the result of a car striking the garbage truck and not the other way around.
Perhaps the most dangerous thing about garbage trucks is that they are a distraction. With their noise, their smell, and their frequent stops, they can easily divert your attention away from the road. Police and insurance companies determine fault for garbage truck accidents in the same way as they do for other motor vehicle accidents.
Contact West Law Office About Car Accident Cases
A car accident lawyer can help you get the money to cover your injury-related financial losses if you were injured in an accident where a garbage truck collided with your car. Contact West Law Office in Spokane, Washington, to find out more about your legal options.