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Police and Trash Truck Drivers are In the Front Line in Virginia

I focus on achieving favorable results with dedication & hard-work.- Griffin O'Hanlon

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Police and Trash Truck Drivers are In the Front Line in Virginia

Police and trash truck drivers do dangerous and difficult jobs on the roads of Virginia and can often be in the wrong place at the wrong time when crashes occur.

Two different stories recently published in the Virginian-Pilot highlighted deaths and injuries to these employees who were in accidents they had little control over.

In the City of Chesapeake, trash and recycling collections due for Friday were made instead on Saturday to allow staff to attend the funeral of trash truck driver George Harris who was killed when his vehicle was hit by a car being pursued by police.

Meanwhile, in Miami in Florida, two police officers were injured when a student who was believed to be drunk drove her BMW into their car, the Pilot reported.

Police and State troopers are frequently killed and hurt in vehicle crashes. Recently, a crash between two cars led to a trooper death in King George County.

Harris was driving one of the City of Chesapeake’s automated side-loader garbage trucks, city officials said.

Police and Trash Truck Drivers Are In Danger

Pilot coverage of George Harris' Death

He had completed his route and was driving back to his headquarters in Greenbrier with a fully loaded truck when a crash occurred on Johnstown Road.

Harris was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital after both vehicles ended up in a deep ditch, according to reports. The 27-year-old driver of a Nissan who was fleeing a police stop was charged with second-degree murder.

In a media interview last week Earl Sorey, assistant director for the Department of Public Works, said there had not been a fatality in the city’s Division of Waste Management since the mid-1990s.

He said George Harris did not contribute to the accident that claimed his life.

This was a terrible tragedy that tore a family apart. Workers in trash, recycling, and garbage collection are in one of the most dangerous fields in the county. The job frequently makes the 10 most dangerous jobs list.

Police and trash truck drivers face daily hazards. Another risky profession is that of tow truck drivers. Virginia’s move over law protects workers like police and tow truck drivers.

According to safety figures, garbage workers suffer about 90 deaths annually per 100,000 workers. The most dangerous professions are logging and commercial fishing.

The high number of deaths of garbage truck drivers can be partly attributed to impatient drivers, who try to pass stopped collection vehicles and end up hitting collectors. The mortality rate is 100 times higher than what is considered acceptable risk according to James Englehardt, University of Miami professor of civil, architectural, and environmental engineering, and a lead researcher for a study noted in a Waste 360 article.

If you have lost a loved one on the highways of the Commonwealth, our Virginia wrongful death team can help you. Contact us via the loss of life pages on our website or call (757) 455-0077.

Jim Hurley

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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