A fatal accident involving a tractor-trailer has prompted Senator Charles Schumer to speak out to federal lawmakers asking them “to pass new truck safety standards including mandatory underride guards on the rear sides of every tractor-trailer” [Source: WBFO].  He believes that had the truck involved in the incident been properly equipped with these guardrails, the accident wouldn’t have ended with a death.

Just a few days back, Schumer stood in the park-and-ride lost just off Thruway Exit 49 in Depew with Marisabel and Corey Coogan, the surviving daughter and son-in-law of Edward “Eto” Torres, the man who was killed in the collision. The senator voiced his concerns next to the grieving family saying that Torres may have still been alive today had the truck he hit been updated with the underride guards. Back in January, Torres’ car struck the rear of a truck that had stopped to avoid a collision ahead, causing him to hit the truck and his vehicle to slide under the higher tail end of the tractor-trailer. Had the truck had the underride guards, they would have prevented the car from going under it.

Schumer has become an avid supporter of the Stop Underrides Act and is pushing to have the existing rear underride guards updated. He believes that Torres’ death didn’t have to occur and that the fix he is requesting is an easy one. Schumer acknowledged that the current guards are outdated and the equipment “does not work as well in collisions involving vehicles featuring crumple zones and airbag deployment sensors.”

Aside from expressing his push to approve the proposed legislation that would require these new guards to be installed, he and other lawmakers such as Kirsten Gillibrand and Marco Rubio are wanting to also “mandate underride guards to the sides of trucks and require inspections to include reviews of underride guard standards.” He also praised the Coogans for becoming active members in this push for change. He stated that while most “curse the darkness” when faced with a tragedy,” this family is working to help prevent another life from being taken in one of these accidents.

Hopefully, with the combined efforts of the family and other lawmakers, the laws will change and more lives might potentially be saved in the event they are involved in an accident with a large truck.


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