City Public Works Employee Shouldn't Drive Distracted

Friday, November 30, 2018

On Wednesday, Nov. 28, at approximately 1 p.m., I heard a crash and discovered that a city of Chattanooga Public Works Recycling truck hit my neighbor's parked car which was on the opposite side of the street.  The recycling truck did extensive damage to the car, completely destroying the left rear and back of the car.  In addition, the truck also struck the right front portion of the car and destroyed the owner's mailbox. 

What transpired after the accident occurred is gross negligence.  The female driver of the city of Chattanooga truck, after speaking with the other party and making phone calls, proceeds to sit on a wall facing both vehicles and lights a cigarette.  Bear in mind that the struck vehicle has massive damage around and behind the gas tank and she is smoking in very close proximity to where gasoline leakage is possible.  The police arrive to take the report but no one from the city of Chattanooga arrives until 45 minutes later in a white truck.  This employee surveys the damage, takes pictures and speaks with both parties.  He allows the female driver of the recycling truck to leave the scene of the accident and continue on her route.  She comes back down the street two additional times. 

It is my understanding that when driving a company vehicle and causing an accident resulting in extensive damage, protocol requires the employee be drug tested and someone is contacted to come retrieve the vehicle that was involved in the accident.  But it gets better.

I attempted to contact Public Works multiple times but there was no answer and no voicemail.  I contacted 3-1-1 and spoke with a woman who took the information and assured me it would be given to the supervisor over Public Works for the city.  As the present time, I have received no phone call.  The next day I am on Hixson Pike and see two Public Works recycling trucks.  Lo and behold, the driver of one of the trucks is none other than the employee that caused the accident the day before.  Even better, she has her phone in her hand and is in the fast lane completely distracted and looking at her phone, not the road.  Fast forward to a couple of miles down the road and she's now on a phone call and appears to be engaged in drama of some sort.

With the tragic Woodmore bus crash two years ago, do we really need another tragedy before something is done?  Numerous people complained about Johnthony Walker's driving but nothing was done.  Six precious lives were lost and numerous other children will have lifelong physical and emotional scars as a result.  School will be out for the Christmas break shortly and our neighborhood has many children that play outside and ride their bikes, and many people who walk with children in strollers.  This employee has no business driving a vehicle that can cause massive damage or worse, let alone engaging in distracted driving the majority of the time.  City of Chattanooga Public Works, wake up and do something.     

Cheri Taylor


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