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On Monday, August 19, 2019, a dump truck owned and operated by Barrett Services, lost its brakes.

It sped downhill through the streets of Seattle, hitting a pedestrian and then several cars causing injuries to 5 people.

It could have been worse. U.S. Department of Transportation records show that Barrett Services of Mill Creek, Washington, had its vehicles inspected four times over the past two years. In three of the inspections, vehicles had to be pulled out of service because of serious violations.

Dump truck company had violations before crash in Seattle’s Pioneer Square

Also, during this time 12 drivers were inspected and because of violations, two drivers were pulled out of service.

We do not yet know why the driver lost control and the dump truck crashed violently into a sandwich shop. (Initially, Seattle police said the tentative cause of the dump truck crash was “catastrophic mechanical failure.”) But we do know that a proper maintenance program, along with a comprehensive safety program would have kept the dump truck from becoming a dangerous weapon on our streets.

This dump truck crash was not an “accident” but a preventable event.

Over the next several weeks, I will continue to monitor the investigation of the crash. The company must be held accountable for its failures and the injuries and damages it has caused.

In the meantime, don’t call it an accident.

– Attorney Kevin Coluccio