Utility vehicles all over the country were involved in several driver-related accidents recently. Read updates added to each story below.
Orlando Girl Hit on Sidewalk
In Orlando, a 10-year-old girl was walking on the sidewalk when she was hit by a utility truck. She was in critical condition after being hit by an Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) truck, and after about one week, the victim, Marisol Gonzalez, died in the hospital. (Click the link to watch a press conference held by the Gonzalez family.)
Troopers reported that the driver of the OUC vehicle made a left turn, cut off a van from the opposite direction, and then hit the young girl. OUC said it was still dealing with the incident and was unable to provide an update at the time this story was posted.
Officer in Medically Induced Coma
In Fort Worth, Texas, Johnson County Sheriff Deputy Wayne "Butch" Nowell Jr. was placed in a medically induced coma after his patrol unit was rear-ended and totaled by a five-ton Oncor bucket truck, while stopped at a red light on Nov. 26 .
Nowell suffered nine broken ribs, a broken leg, a fractured or broken vertebrae, neck injuries, and a deep laceration on his head, according to the Burleson Star.
He underwent knee surgery on Nov. 27, with updates on his progress posted on the Burleson Star’s facebook page.
On Dec. 2, the Burleson Star reported that Nowell was out of the coma and starting to walk. He was scheduled to have surgery on Dec. 4 to reconstruct the right side of his face, which had been crushed during the collision, according to the Cleburne Times-Review.
Oncor, an electricity supplier, operates one of the largest commercial fleets in the country, with more than 2,000 vehicles reported in 2013.
64-Year-Old Struck while Crossing Street
In Millcreek, Utah, the Deseret News reported a 64-year-old woman was killed Nov. 25 after being hit by a Comcast utility truck while crossing the street after 6 p.m., said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. She died before the ambulance reached the hospital, according to the newspaper.
The utility was unable to comment, but did express its condolences. “We were deeply saddened to learn of the accident, and our thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Olson’s family. We are cooperating with the Unified Police Department, but cannot comment on this active investigation,” said Ray Child, senior director of Public Relations, Comcast – Utah.
Comcast, which was ranked the third largest commercial fleet in the U.S. this year, operates more than 36,000 vehicles and stresses the importance of driver safety training programs to its employees.
Safety Resources for Fleets
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Identifying At-Risk Fleet Drivers
Last update on 12-31-13 to include updates on the accidents.
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