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Truck Company Threw Away Documents Related to Defective Truck That Killed Norfolk, VA Worker

Jerry Holton was killed while working on a recycling truck that was provided to the City of Norfolk, Virginia (VA), by the Southeastern Public Service Authority. Holton climbed into the back of the truck to clear a jam and got crushed by the hydraulics system, according to WAVY TV-10.

You might be asking yourself, "Why didn't the hydraulics system stop while he was in the back?" Well, it turns out the truck's back up safety device was manually disabled by rewiring. This is a violation of safety protocol. Investigators want to learn more about how the safety device became disabled, but the truck's maintenance history cannot be checked. SPSA threw out the documentation.

The maintenance history was reportedly disposed of during a "routine cleanup" a few months after SPSA sold the truck to Norfolk. SPSA is asserting that city representatives did not request  the records. However, city representatives have countered saying that they requested the records twice, once after the sale and once after the accident. In both instances, the city received accounting records, not maintenance records.

SPSA needs to get its act together. Poor record keeping can be an indication that a business does not place much emphasis on safety. It is especially frustrating in this situation since an innocent man was killed in a tragic accident and people are trying figure out how a recycling truck was negligently rewired to reduce the safety of this worker while on the job.

If it turns out someone from SPSA rewired the safety device, the Holton family may have grounds for a wrongful death claim. However, both SPSA and Norfolk are denying that they had anything to do with the rewiring.   

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