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Amber Alert

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Inexperience leads to truck accident

A tractor-trailer driver’s inexperience led to extensive damage at a parking lot on Turnpike Street Friday and left his truck-driving career on hold. “It’s hard to believe this guy tried to pull this off,” said Stoughton Police Sgt. Paul McCallum.

The driver, who police did not identify, was trying to maneuver a tractor-trailer truck between the South Shore Savings Bank and Dunkin Donuts at about 3:30 p.m. The driver steered the truck into a right turn only lane and tried to take a right onto Turnpike Street but there was not enough space, McCallum said. He also said a pick-up truck with a trailer could even have had a tough time with the turn.

The driver, who worked for Tennessee-based U.S. Express Leasing, was working his second day on the job. McCallum said the driver is no longer employed by the company.

The truck went up over the curb, struck a piling and dislodged a Dunkin Donuts sign, which McCallum estimated was at least four feet in the ground.
“He pulled it right out,” McCallum said.

The sign toppled onto a car in the parking lot and the truck’s wheels became stuck on the piling that previously held the sign upright. As it became stuck, a significant portion of the truck’s weight pressed down on the fallen sign, further weighing down the car, McCallum said.
There were no injuries in the incident, police said.

McCallum said an experienced driver never would have tried to make the turn.

The State Police truck unit responded and used heavy-duty tow trucks and wenches to first free the truck, which was fully loaded, and then the sign, McCallum said.

McCallum said there was at least $5,000 damage to the car and that it could be more depending on how the vehicle’s suspension system held up. The sign was likely fairly expensive as well, McCallum said.

“Quite a bit of weight came down on the car,” McCallum said, adding the hood and the windshield were both smashed in. “You could see the front end dipped pretty low.”

The westbound lane of Route 139 was shut down for nearly two hours, McCallum said.

Police impounded the tractor-trailer until the company was able to provide proof of insurance, McCallum said. Source