by Fred Lambert
In a stroke of morbid coincidence, two dump trucks for the City of Orlando were involved in traffic fatalities over the last week.
Yesterday morning, 59-year-old Lawson Mehaney slowed his waste management truck down and flipped the blinker before making a right turn from South Conway Road onto Hargill Drive. At the same time, according to police, 52-year-old James Texidor maneuvered to the right of the truck on a moped, presumably to pass. He likely missed indications that Mehaney’s dump truck was turning, but sadly, he didn’t miss the truck itself: Texidor was ejected underneath the vehicle where he sustained major injuries. He died later on in the hospital.
While working West Orlando near South John Young Parkway early Friday, May 2, driver Reginald Virgil, 48, suddenly realized that the worker who usually hangs off the back of the vehicle was missing. Virgil backtracked to his last stop, Carter Tabernacle CME Church on Cottage Hill Road and Fitzgerald Drive, and discovered his co-worker, 26-year-old Brandon Bristol, dead on scene. It’s not clear whether Bristol was smooshed against the side of a building or if he fell under the wheel – or if Virgil backed up over him – but police are saying that he was somehow “struck and killed by the [garbage] truck.”
This follows a report by WESH-2 News Orlando about an April 28 incident in Volusia County in which a dump truck traveling on I-4 suffered a separated front wheel, sending it careening through a guard rail and into four vehicles from oncoming traffic, killing a woman in a Honda Civic.
WESH indicated that charges are pending against the driver in the Volusia County crash, and Orlando Police said that both of the incidents from the last six days are under active investigation.