TruckingIndustry.news

More Details Released in Truck Driver's Death After Family Demands Answers

by Jana Ritter - Published: 9/23/2015

After a truck driver was killed last week at the Port of Long Beach, the family has been demanding more answers and has publicly stated that the port has not been forthcoming with information despite their numerous calls. On Tuesday, the family held a press conference along with their attorneys and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters asking for the port to provide more information and for public’s help in finding out what happened to 26-year-old William Vasquez. Vasquez worked as an independent contract truck driver for California Multimodal LLC and was killed on September 16 while he was working at the Long Beach port.

                                                       Truck Driver Dies at Port Long Beach

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On Wednesday, the Long Beach Police Department responded by releasing more details to the media. According to LBPD press release, the Long Beach port police responded to an accident at 700 Pier A Way, at around 8:47AM on Wednesday, September 16. They discovered William Vasquez lying on the ground next to a trailer and about 30 feet behind a 2009 Sterling 3-axle tractor. Investigators believe he had exited his tractor without putting it in park or setting the emergency brake. They say that he had also been on his cellphone at the time and when he tried to unlatch his trailer, it slowly began to roll forward and struck him. Vasquez was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders from the Long Beach Fire Department.

At the Tuesday press conference held in Los Angeles, the truck driver’s father, Wilfredo Vasquez, said that immediately after he was told that his son was in an accident, he rushed to port. “I was calling my son in hopes that he would answer and that would mean he is alive,” Vasquez said. He also said that this is the hardest thing he has dealt with as a father and that he has not yet seen his son’s body. William Vasquez had been a truck driver for 3 years and his father said said that he had worked hard to recently lease a new car and was very excited that he had just gone into escrow on a house. The family’s attorneys, Juan J. Dominguez and George Singer of The Dominguez Firm said that in the days following Vasquez’s death, the family wasn’t able to get any information about the obvious questions they wanted answers to and that the port wasn't even returning their calls. On Tuesday's press conference, Dominguez told the media that it wasn’t acceptable to the family and that as their lawyers they intend to seek the truth and would even take legal action if necessary. “The family is owed an explanation and the family wants to know what happened at the port,” he said.

                                                                             William Vasquez

Also on Tuesday, port Chief Executive Jon Slangerup made a public statement about Vasquez’s "unfortunate" death. “Our sympathies go to his family and friends. Cal/OSHA is currently investigating his death,” he said. The family has not yet commented on whether they are satisfied with the details provided by the Wednesday press release issued by the LBPD. In the meantime, a spokesperson for Cal/OSHA has confirmed it is also actively investigating Vasquez’s death but could not release more information at this time.


Joseph Scott Jr.
Joseph Scott Jr.
There IS no "park", and it is totally plausible that he forgot to set the brake and got run over by his own truck. Are they really that determined to place blame on someone and not accept that he may have lost his life due to his own negligence?
Lester Proctor
Lester Proctor
I bet 90% of the drivers out here at least once in there careers has forgot to set their parking breaks but few will admit to it
James R Maxwell
James R Maxwell
Alan likes his breaks.
Phillip Cuthbertson
Phillip Cuthbertson
I've done it.
Christopher L Mays
Christopher L Mays
I have done it more than once
Lester Proctor
Lester Proctor
Guilty and I'm a 32 year vet
Paul Infante
Paul Infante
Happened at a warehouse I worked at. Driver walked into the building, cab was rolling slowly away. someone jumped in the cab and had to pull the brake
Gary Rogers
Gary Rogers
Key words , "independent contract truck driver," if the man was paid by the hour, and possibly in no hurry, well, you figure it out. Safety Safety Safety, get it? Got it? GOOD!!
Sean P. Brown
Sean P. Brown
No. Hourly, no hurry. Contract driver=percentage and flying to make the bucks.
James R Maxwell
James R Maxwell
Because people getting paid by the hour don't make stupid mistakes?
Matt Coussens
Matt Coussens
Everyone makes mistakes we are all human
Ray Cunningham
Ray Cunningham
You all want hourly pay go get it. Just leave those of us who like making money alone hourly pay is going to be like a waitress below minimum with the exception you won't get the tips.
Chad Iosco
Chad Iosco
You must be a longshoreman. You sure know how to milk that hourly pay.
Rodney Avery
Rodney Avery
Had a driver do that. It happens.
Ronald Charles
Ronald Charles
Don,t set trolley brake know a driver set trolley brake talked to his friend someone came in asked who drove blue Martin guy said me feller told him better go get it out of river rolled across U.S. 23 in Floyd county crossed 4 lanes of traffic never hit no one nosed into river never turned over
Kevin Hunter
Kevin Hunter
Yep happens all the time. and there is no "park" when it's a manual transmission. had a switcher run himself over once doing that
Stephen Massat
Stephen Massat
Own negligence=$0. Blame a multi million dollar port and $$$$$$
Dustin Mangum
Dustin Mangum
Even if you forget to set brakes your not really positioned to get ran over unless the pin release is stuck.
Charles Elick Jr
Charles Elick Jr
Number 1 get off the phone, number 2 tractor in park ?????, 3 how does a trailer roll forward hooked to a tractor, definitely fishy circumstances here
Julie Morgan
Julie Morgan
If he was on the phone then he was distracted. I've done stupid things myself being on the phone which why I know when to be on it and when not.
Michael Cummings
Michael Cummings
Happens everyday.
Pat Offenberger
Pat Offenberger
Look at the Swift driver recently awarded a couple of million dollars for getting his foot ran over by the trailer tires. He was pulling the slide release while another driver jerked the unit back and forth. If you're so stupid that you put your foot where it can get ran over, it should be your problem. Not your company. Such is the new breed in trucking. God help us all!
Kurt Dodenhoff
Kurt Dodenhoff
You dont have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out! Valve out or in!
Chris Neal
Chris Neal
I don't always set brakes and sometimes i just use trolley brake
Jeff Yoder
Jeff Yoder
You're askin for trouble. Thats not smart at all
Chris Neal
Chris Neal
Na why have insurance if its never gonna be used
Chris Neal
Chris Neal
im kidding fyi
Owen Harmon
Owen Harmon
Trollys for trailer only don't act like a idiot
Chris Neal
Chris Neal
I understand that. And proper trailer pretrip will show any brake issues including slack adjustment out to far. I've never had a trailer roll and never will using trolly brake
Sue Domenico
Sue Domenico
It can happen. Driver at our company didnt pull brakes pulled 5th wheel truck released he had door locked it ended up in what was calked the pool. 2 tow trucks to remove it
Sean P. Brown
Sean P. Brown
If you have to ask if a truck was put in park gear, you have no business posting on trucking site. Even an automatic transmission truck doesn't have a park gear. Guy was in a hurry and blew it. I have done it myself. Thankfully, on flat ground.
Susan Swanson Smolen
Susan Swanson Smolen
It boils down to the family looking for a payday.. The bread winner is now deceased.. You don't put a truck in park.. If he was on his phone when all this happened then chances are he was distracted & it cost him his life..
Ck Newberry
Ck Newberry
Been driving for a long time,and yes I have for got to set brakes once or twice,I've never sat my butt in one of these automatic trucks,do they not have a park or are they like some of the fire trucks with just a push button D N R,like I said never been in one,always have a shifter in my hand.. Just wondering
Penelope Townsend
Penelope Townsend
We just loaded today at a place that makes you chock the wheels since someone got injured cause driver forgot to pull brakes
Ronald Charles
Ronald Charles
Marion's are tough trks or this one was stayed on it,s feet the whole time this was back when coal was big when owner got there they hooked 2 wreckers to it pulled it back up to highway stayed on it,s wheels the whole time done a little work to under carriage sent down the road to work
Clint Walker
Clint Walker
I've seen it happen at truck stops, wharehouses, Walmart parking lots and even did it once in my own driveway.
John Spencer
John Spencer
Never forgot to do it. Usually Professionals don't forget to do something as easy as setting the parking brake.
Sue Domenico
Sue Domenico
I used to think I was nuts but have a habit of cheking shift and brakes 2 or 3 times before I get out of truck
Mark A Fitez
Mark A Fitez
And the other thing is have you seen the junk trucks that those guys drive in and out of the ports and rail yards even if he had set his brakes he may not even have any
Michael Melton
Michael Melton
Happens all time.
Lester Proctor
Lester Proctor
Can't blame transmission if you dont set air breaks
Ronald Charles
Ronald Charles
Meant to say marmon
John Spencer
John Spencer
I think they call that common sense.
Kenny G Simms
Kenny G Simms
Yea bad way to go out,he probably set trolly valve and it slowly released on its on, I drivers do it all the time,but I think the family pretty much got the answer they are looking for just from what I have read
Jim Rigney
Jim Rigney
It's those pos auto shift Transmissions. They should not be in semis. This is just the beginning
Phillip Cuthbertson
Phillip Cuthbertson
Gary that's a stupid remark. Every one makes mistakes.
Fred Rodriguez
Fred Rodriguez
I forgot once when I was just starting. Didn't put my parking brakes on. Truck rolled just a bit, and jumped and pulled those buttons