A Texas tractor trailer driver was killed on Sunday when steel panels he was carrying slid into his cab after he braked suddenly to stop at an overpass on the eastbound Northern State Parkway in Old Westbury.
Javier Tapia, 53, of McAllen, Texas, was crushed by the panels as he attempted to avoid the overpass at Exit 30, I.U. Willets Road, about 4:30 p.m., State Police Trooper Frank Bandiero told Newsday. “When he jammed on the brakes, the force pushed the steel he was carrying into the cab and crushed him,” Bandiero said Monday.
According to Bandiero, Tapia appeared to have slammed on the brakes to avoid shredding the top of his cab under the low clearance of the overpass. Sadly, Bandiero explained to Newsday, Tapia might have been able to clear the overpass if he had stayed in the middle of the roadway.
Tapia was driving his 2007 Freightliner flatbed tractor trailer to Oyster Bay for AAA Freight Inc. of Palos Hills, Illinois, when he mistakenly entered the Northern State Parkway from the Long Island Expressway, police said in a news release obtained by Newsday. The single-vehicle accident shut down the parkway between Exit 28, Willis Avenue in Roslyn Heights, and Exit 31, Glen Cove Road in Westbury for nearly five hours, reopening shortly before 9:30 p.m. Exit 38 of the Long Island Expressway heading east onto the Meadowbrook State Parkway was also closed for hours, according to Newsday.