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Jersey Firm In Two Fatal Crashes Has Many Violations, Yet Almost No Punishment

A company whose dump truck has now been involved in two fatal crashes in less than six months has racked up more than 60 tickets for reckless driving in the city. Does anyone care?

Photo: Theodore Parisienne|

Police investigating the scene of a fatal crash on Bedford Avenue and Tilden Avenue in Brooklyn.

The New Jersey company whose 30,000-pound dump truck has been linked to two fatal pedestrian crashes in six months has received more than 60 tickets for reckless driving in the city, yet has faced just a tiny fine for its unsafe equipment and its drivers' long record of speeding and running red lights.

The dump truck owned by Manolos Trucking that was involved in the two fatal crashes — killing crossing guard Krystyna Naprawa in Queens in October and 58-year-old Maria Piovanetti in Brooklyn last Thursday — had been caught on camera five times for running red lights and once for speeding since 2018.

But that truck is no outlier. Seven more Manolos Trucking vehicles have 24 red light camera violations and 33 speed camera violations between them since 2018. Streetsblog obtained the trucks' license plate numbers by reviewing records created by the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration, which reviews companies after its trucks are involved in crashes.

The FMCSA profile for Manolos Trucking shows that the company owns 13 trucks in total. Nine trucks, including the truck from the fatal crashes, were listed by the federal oversight body as being involved in crashes or traffic violations that the feds reviewed. Only one of those trucks had zero camera-issued tickets attached to its license plate.

The company has paid every ticket levied against it, allowing the company to skate under the radar, despite its repeated record of recklessness. Camera-issued tickets do not count on a driver's record, either.

And the driver who killed Piovanetti has still not been charged by the NYPD, even though video of the crash, obtained by the Daily News, clearly shows her crossing with the light as the truck driver rolled his massive vehicle through the crosswalk and over her.

Before that crash, the driver of the same exact dump truck killed Naprawa at the corner of Woodhaven Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue. Police later charged driver Hector Yepes with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care. His case is pending.

No punishment?

The New York City Business Integrity Commission has issued six violations to trucks owned by Manolos since 2019. The most recent violation — for an infraction on the same day as Naprawa was killed — citied the company for a hood ornament that may have obstructed the driver's view.

"Nothing may be placed or suspended in or on the vehicle or windshield so as to obstruct the operator's vision through the windshield or other windows," according to BIC regulations.

On the day of the October crash, there was indeed a raised ornament on the front of the truck:

The dump truck whose driver hit and killed crossing guard Krystyna Naprawa in October 2023.

But after Thursday's crash, it was clear that the company had removed the hood ornament:

The same dump truck from the fatal crash in March 2024.Theodore Parisienne

Manolos Trucking appeared on March 7 at a hearing about the hood ornament — a hearing, ironically, on the same morning that cops said its driver hit and killed Piovanetti.

The company was hit with just a $2,400 fine for the hood ornament violation and a separate incident involving missing paperwork. The agency is also looking at the latest fatality, its spokesperson told Streetsblog, and is still waiting on the company to respond to a city demand for the safety and training materials it gives drivers.

The state of affairs shows that oversight is still too lax on the enormous trucks driven on city streets, according to one lawmaker.

"We need much stricter oversight of the private sanitation and construction truck companies that are operating in New York City," said Council Member Lincoln Restler, whose Downtown Brooklyn and Williamsburg district is riven with trucks. "There are too many dangerous drivers who serially run red lights and speed, sometimes resulting in tragic and avoidable fatalities. Companies like Manolos Trucking should not be allowed to do business in New York City."

In addition to the existing safety violations, Manolos Trucking was sued in 2019 over a 2017 collision one of its truck drivers had with the driver of a taxi in Midtown Manhattan. According to the truck driver, he ran a red light when he attempted to stop at a yellow light, but the roadway was too wet and he slid through the intersection. That suit is pending.

Manolos Trucking did not return a call seeking comment.

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