Terri Puchala Middleburgh: Terri Puchala Killed In Middleburgh Dump Truck Accident By Baker Avenue and Main Street
MIDDLEBURGH, NEW YORK (December 3, 2019) – A 56-year-old woman identified as Terri Puchala has tragically died in a dump truck accident near the intersection of Baker Street and Main Street.
New York State Police are saying that the accident took place around 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday. For reasons that remain under investigation a municipal dump truck struck Terri Puchala near the intersection.
The dump truck was aiding in snow removal efforts at the time of the accident. The force of the impact knocked Terri Puchala leaving her with serious injuries.
Paramedics were called to the scene of the accident in order to help the victim. Despite life-saving measures Terri Puchala later died due to her injuries.
An investigation into the Middleburgh dump truck accident remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Middleburgh Dump Truck Accidents
Dump trucks are large vehicles designed to carry very heavy payloads. The licensed gross vehicular weight of a dump truck is 56,000 lbs. This can make them extremely difficult to maneuver and stop in the best of conditions. Ice, rain or snow can make stopping a dump truck ten times harder. Truck drivers are held to a very high standard in terms of safety. They must operate their vehicles according to the prevailing conditions and take into account that weather will adversely affect their ability to drive safely. In addition to the weight of dump trucks they also suffer from another serious problem.
Due to their large size, dump trucks also have very large blind spots. This can prove to be perilous for pedestrians, motorcyclists and smaller vehicles. According to one study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), “On average, six fatalities a year can be attributed to equipment colliding with other vehicles or pedestrian workers, or backing over the edge of a dump point. Several off-the-shelf technologies exist for monitoring areas that an equipment operator cannot see from the cab, including radar, video cameras, and radio signal detection systems.” Despite the fact that these technologies are very old many dump truck companies often try to save money by excluding them.
A number of very serious pedestrian accidents take place when dump truck drivers make left turns. According to New York Vehicle & Traffic Law (Sec. 1411), “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.” Here are just a few of the most common reasons that pedestrian accidents at intersections occur:
- Drivers may be fatigued
- Drivers may have taken prescription medications
- Drivers may fail to check their blind spots
- An intersection’s line of sight may be obstructed
If the dump truck was owned by a city or county that municipal entity could be held vicariously liable for an accident. Municipal entities are generally liable for the negligent conduct of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. The family of any victim that died in a dump truck accident may be able to seek justice through a wrongful death claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses and emotional distress. A dump truck accident attorney can investigate your case free of cost and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating A Middleburgh Dump Truck Accident
We at Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson extend our deepest condolences to the family of Terri Puchala. Any person that may have seen what happened should reach out to the Middleburgh police department as they continue their investigation. There needs to be some accountability for the sake of the victim’s family and all who have been affected by this tragic loss. As personal injury attorneys and consumer safety advocates it is our sincere hope that measures are put in place to help prevent additional accidents like this one. Unfortunately, this winter has brought with it very dangerous conditions on the roadways. Drivers need to be doing everything in their power to identify pedestrians and slow down around them.