Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez released the following information:
On Wednesday, July 3, 2019, shortly after 12:50 p.m., a motor vehicle collision occurred in the area of 30th Street and Palisade Avenue in Union City in which a Union City Department of Public Works garbage truck struck several vehicles before colliding with a protective barrier and ultimately crashing onto Route 495.
The garbage truck was operated by Eulalio Diaz, age 53, who was employed by the Union City Department of Public Works. The initial investigation revealed that while traveling east on 30th Street, the garbage truck struck a Honda Odyssey which then struck an Infinity G35. The garbage truck then struck a Subaru Imprezza which in-turn struck a Nissan Murano.
The garbage truck continued to travel east when it mounted a curb and traveled across a median where it struck several flower posts, a traffic light pole and a large decorative clock.
The garbage truck continued to travel across Palisade Avenue when it mounted a second curb before striking fencing. It then fell several feet onto Route 495 west. Debris from the upper level collision struck a Bolt bus and a Volkswagen GTI which were both traveling on Route 495.
There were a total of twelve individuals involved in this incident who were transported by Emergency Medical Services to area hospitals to be treated for their injuries.
The subsequent investigation and crash reconstruction by the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit has revealed that the primary cause of the collision was driver error and that the driver, Diaz, applied pressure to the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal.
Prosecutor Suarez credited the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit for leading the investigation, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, the Union City Police Department and the Secaucus Police Department for assisting in the investigation. Prosecutor Suarez also credited the North Bergen Police Department and the Weehawken Police Department with providing crime scene security on the day of the incident and all medical personnel, including North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue, for assisting on the day of the incident.