A 29-year-old man died last night after police say he jumped onto the side a DOT dump truck in midtown and was subsequently knocked off and crushed under the vehicle's wheels. The incident happened around 10 p.m. when the unnamed man jumped onto the driver's side of the truck and clung to the vehicle, standing on a diesel tank foot rail as the driver headed west on 51st Street, according to police.
The driver apparently did not realize the man was clinging to the side of the truck, according to a preliminary investigation. The NYPD says the truck was rolling by a construction site on 51st Street between 8th Avenue and Broadway, "which contained concrete barriers with metal fencing attached. As the truck passed the concrete barriers, the victim's backpack became entangled with the metal fence causing the victim to fall to the ground where he was run over by the truck's rear tires."
EMS responded and pronounced the man dead at the scene. The NY Post interviewed a witness who offered more details about the grisly incident:
The unidentified victim was seen moments before the fatal accident getting into an argument with the truck driver as he tried to cross into the path of the oncoming vehicle as it headed westbound on 51st Street at Broadway, according to a witness.
“Him and the driver had words. Basically they was right there [51st street] and [victim] just put his hand up like ‘I’m crossing here,’ and they had attitude going back and forth,” said the witness who asked to remain anonymous.
After the brief spat, the truck kept driving. But the man ran after the truck, climbed on to the driver’s side and tried to hold on before realizing he didn’t have enough room to clear a construction fence on the south side of 51st Street.
He then made a desperate bid to dismount the 14-wheeler, only to be dragged under and killed, according to police sources.
The driver remained at the location and has not been charged, but police say the investigation is ongoing.
A DOT spokesperson said the truck was carting asphalt to a nearby paving job.