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Serious crash injures 2 workers; drunk driver suspected

On June 30, an accident involving a car and a garbage truck in Texas at about 3 p.m. left two sanitation workers with life-threatening injuries. The collision is believed to have been caused by a drunk driver.

According to police reports, the accident occurred in Longview when a 46-year-old woman driving a dark-colored sedan on Alpine Road crashed into the back of a stopped garbage truck, hitting two workers who were loading trash into it. The force of the crash caused one of the workers, a 46-year-old man, to be thrown into the air, landing several feet away. The other worker was sandwiched between the sanitation truck and the car.

Emergency rescue personnel who arrived at the scene employed a large rescue truck to jack the sanitation truck up while the jaws of life were used to help free the trapped 33-year-old worker from among the vehicles. An ambulance took the workers to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, where they received treatment. The sedan driver was also taken to the same hospital where she was treated for non-incapacitating injuries. Another worker involved, a 20-year-old man who was the designated driver of the sanitation truck, reported no injuries.

The sanitation workers, both from Longview, were hired through Labor Ready, a city contractor. While the investigation is pending, officials stated that alcohol may have contributed to the accident.

Regardless of the circumstances, Texas workers who suffer from a work injury could be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits, which they could recover a reasonable amount of compensation for their medical fees and income losses directly relating to the accident. In the event that the compensation is denied or is insufficient, the worker may wish to seek the advice and direction of a local attorney familiar with workers' compensation claims who may work on their behalf.

Source: KTRE, "2 sanitation workers hospitalized after car strikes garbage truck", Marshall Stephens, June 30, 2014

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