United States

Tractor-Trailer Hits Cars, House in Meriden

A tractor-trailer carrying mail crashed into several parked cars and a home on Preston Avenue in Meriden Thursday morning and the family is displaced until the home can be repaired.

Officials said the tractor-trailer hit a van, an SUV and a truck before hitting a home and pushing a tree through a bedroom.

The homeowner said, fortunately, his daughter who sleeps in the bedroom the tree went through was not home when the crash happened, around 4:15 a.m., because she was at work on an overnight shift.

“It sounded like a bomb going off. The house shook,” Aldo Signorello said.

The driver, who was delivering mail between U.S, Postal Service distribution centers in Wallingford and Springfield, Mass. suffered bumps and bruises. No one in the home was hurt, but officials said there is extensive damage to the house and the residents will not be able to return until it is repaired.

The driver works for Davis Mail Services and the operations manager said the truck driver is one of his best, and is always dependable and safe.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the company has been involved in 24 crashes in the last 24 months. Of those, only five involved injuries. 

Ryan Behling‘s van was struck during the crash.

“It’s pretty terrifying,” he said. “It makes me nervous about living here, honestly. A lot of big trucks come flying down. People speed down this road in general, so all it takes is one guy not paying attention and, you know, I could have been sitting in there.”

As part of their investigation, police planned to look at whether the vehicle was overloaded, the speed the driver was going, and whether he fell asleep at the wheel.

“We’re going to see how many hours he was on the road, we’re going to see if he rested between shifts,” said Lieutenant Thomas Cossette, Meriden’s Accident Reconstruction Unit Commander.

Residents along the street said they’ve complained for years about truck traffic and speeding on their street.

“It was just a matter of time. We knew something like this would happen,” said Jeff Naldi. “They fly down this road all the time.”

“It’s pretty dangerous. We complained about that to the city for many years and nothing has been happening,” added Signorello.

The operations manager for Davis Mail Services told NBC Connecticut the van their driver struck was parked illegally, facing the wrong direction on the side of the street.

Their driver told them that it had to pull into the oncoming lane to get around it.

He said there was a car speeding toward him, and that’s when he veered back into his lane and hit the van.

However, police say the surveillance footage doesn’t show any headlights in the oncoming lane and they have no evidence to suggest that there was another vehicle involved.

They do say the van was parked in the wrong direction but are not considering that the cause of this crash.

USPS the priority mail that was on the truck will likely get processed quickly, so people shgould still get their mail Thursday, just a bit later than usual. 

Officials initially said the truck’s saddle tanks were pierced during the crash and fuel was draining toward the backyard. On Thursday afternoon, officials from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said there was no fuel spill, It was just a minor motor oil leak.

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