Prosecutor’s Office reveals cause of Union City DPW truck crash

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said investigators attributed incident to driver error

The July 3 collision injured 12 and snarled Route 495 traffic for hours.
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The July 3 collision injured 12 and snarled Route 495 traffic for hours.

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced the findings of the investigation into a motor vehicle collision in Union City which involved a Department of Public Works truck, which collided with several vehicles before overturning at a barrier, and falling from an overpass onto Route 495 on July 3 at about 12:50 p.m. Suarez announced that her office’s investigation attributed the incident to “driver error.”

The garbage truck was operated by Eulalio Diaz, a 53-year-old Union City DPW employee.

The investigation concluded that, while driving on East 30th Street, the garbage truck struck a Honda Odyssey, which caused the Odyssey to strike an Infiniti G35.

The garbage truck then struck a Subaru Impreza, which caused the Impreza to strike a Nissan Murano.

The garbage truck then continued to travel east when it mounted a curb and traveled across a median, where it struck several planters, a traffic light pole, and a large decorative clock.

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 Volkswagen GTI which were both traveling on Route 495.

A total of 12 people involved in this incident were transported by emergency medical services to area hospitals, to be treated for injuries sustained during the collision.

After an investigation and crash reconstruction, the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit concluded that the primary cause of the collision was driver error.

Suarez alleged that the driver, Diaz, applied pressure to the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal.

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