Essex, VT — The local news reports have released the name of the woman who was seriously injured in Monday evening’s accident: 53-year-old Dorothy Watson, a local Essex resident. Police said that Watson was badly hurt after a garbage truck lost control on Browns River Road/Vermont 128 and rolled onto her car.
This was on Monday evening, September 28, just before 5:00 p.m.
Right now, it looks like things are still a little unclear as to what happened, exactly, but it appears that the garbage truck was owned by Casella Waste Systems. The driver, David Rochon, had been headed along Browns River Road that evening and lost control near the intersection with Weed Road, where Browns River starts to sharply curve.
Rochon’s garbage truck lost its balance and tipped over, landing on Dorothy Watson’s silver car which was nearby. She was very seriously hurt and had to be cut out of her car and taken to a nearby hospital.
Police ended up charging David Rochon with gross negligent operation with serious injuries resulting. They also noted that his truck was hauling about 30 tons of garbage and may have been overweight.
More details to come later.
Map of the Accident
View of the Road
There are a few things I wanted to share with my readers here, because I think that the police charges against this truck driver are only the beginning. First, I took a look at the DOT’s records for Casella Waste Systems (and their sister company of the same name for New York), finding a multitude of citations for things like speeding, trucks being over the weight limit, drivers not being physically qualified, and not maintaining their trucks well enough.
Second, the State of Vermont has special weight restrictions for commercial trucks, depending on the number of axles your vehicle has. If it has three axles, which this garbage truck does, then it looks like the maximum wight limit is 60,000 lbs. Now, if the truck was carrying 30 tons, that’s 60,000 lbs right there — and we haven’t counted the weight of the truck itself yet. Bear in mind, though, these are guidelines set forth by the state. In reality, it may be that this garbage truck wasn’t even rated for 30 tons of cargo. So when the news suggested that perhaps this was caused by an overweighted truck, it may be that the truck was carrying too much weight for its own frame to bear, but was still under the state-specified guidelines.
However, from the research I did, it seems like this truck had too much weight in the back, period.
So what does all this mean? Well, when you factor in the charges levied against the trucker, it sounds like this accident was caused by a whole lot of carelessness. Not only was the trucker careless for flipping the truck over, but the trucking company should have never allowed their truck to hold that much garbage in the first place.
The truck driver should answer for his sins, to be sure, but I think it would be prudent to look into the trucking company he worked for as well, because it sounds like they have a hard time following safety rules as well, if their profile with the DOT is any indication of how they do business on a day-to-day basis.
— Grossman Law Offices