The unfortunate accident took place on last Thursday as the delivery truck was pulling up to the retail store around 4 p.m. Initial reports indicate that the victim, identified as 42 year-old Evandora Wheeler, was partially in 18th Street when the ice cream truck driver made his turned onto Tilgham Street into her pathway.
According to The Morning Call, the driver of the truck, upon seeing the badly injured woman ran into the Dollar General Store, yelling, “Call an ambulance. Call an ambulance.”
Wheeler was trapped under the truck, and Police Assistant Chief Joseph Hanna said it is unclear if the she fell before she was struck or if she was pushed under the truck after she was hit.
“What is still under investigation is what caused her to end up underneath the truck,” Hanna told the Morning Call. “We’re probably not going to have any clear-cut answers today.”
Hanna added, “All we know is that the driver makes a delivery [at Dollar General], gets into the truck, begins to move the truck, and a witness apparently sees what appears to be a body underneath the truck.”
The investigation into the exact circumstances of the accident is still underway.
The witness flagged down the driver after seeing the victim and he stopped. Hanna said the truck had not moved very far after he was flagged down.
Wheeler was pronounced dead at the scene. The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office said Wheeler died from blunt force trauma.
Another witness, Morris Mack, who arrived on the scene shortly after the accident, told the Morning Call that police took the driver away and he was a man in his 20s or 30s.
“He was very upset, definitely shook up,” Mack said.
Mack also said the truck was tall, putting the driver well-above street level.
“These trucks, sometimes they have a blind spot, especially on a right turn,” he said.
The Dollar General stayed open long enough to serve their remaining customers but closed the store shortly after.
Assistant Chief Hanna said he is not sure if the driver will be charged for the accident.
Accidents involving semis and large box trucks are not unusual. These large vehicles can be difficult to navigate, especially in close quartered urban areas. Even though the drivers of these trucks may not face criminal charges, they can still be held financially liable for the injuries or untimely deaths they cause.
Victims of truck accidents often suffer from severely debilitating injuries from broken bones to brain injuries. With the high costs of medical care, these accident victims are often burdened with exorbitant medical bills. They could also lose much-needed wages which can make their financial situation worse.
The people who are injured in an accident involving a large semi or delivery truck can turn to a truck accident attorney for help obtain a fair settlement that offers them maximum compensation.