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Mom feared for life when trash truck crashed

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The Works and Engineering trash truck being pulled free after slipping down the hillside in Pembroke (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A shocked mother yesterday spoke of how she feared for her life when an out-of-control trash truck almost crashed into her home.

Judy Araujo, of Pembroke, said only a single tree saved her, her 28-year-old son and his friend from serious injury or death.

“My son and friend were sleeping in the room — if the truck would have fallen it would have killed them,” she said.

“I had to run in there and tell them to get out; it would have taken the whole side of the house out.”

Ms Araujo said the Department of Works and Engineering vehicle skidded down Eves Hill Lane and on to her property sometime between 10.30am and 11.30am. It ended up with its rear end embedded in the vegetation on the hillside directly above her house until it was pulled free by two payloader trucks at about 1.45pm.

“It’s a huge sense of relief having it out of the bushes,” she said. “I don’t want it to happen again. I’ve been here 37 years and this has never happened.”

Ms Araujo told The Royal Gazette that she was in the bathroom when she heard a lot of noise outside and went to see what was going on.

She saw the truck had skidded on to her property and was being stopped from toppling onto her house by a single tree.

“Thank God for that pepper tree,” she said. “The boys wanted to cut down the trees and I always say ‘don’t touch the trees’.”

But Ms Araujo also expressed her disappointment in some of the Works and Engineering workers, who she said did not seem to take the incident seriously; the Ministry of Public Works said it is investigating the incident.

Ms Araujo said: “I don’t understand it. The guys who were driving were making like it was a joke. Some of them were stood there laughing.”

She added that they only stopped making jokes and rude remarks when she told them that it was her house the truck had almost struck.

Ms Araujo said she would like an apology and for repairs to be carried out on her yard, as well as a wall that was damaged when the heavy equipment was brought in to free the truck.

Another area resident, who asked not to be named, said he was speaking to his landlord when he suddenly heard a noise “that didn’t sound good”.

The man, who used to drive trucks for the Department of Works and Engineering, said he recognised the sound of the “tyres being pulled like the machine wasn’t holding”.

“I have a lot of experience driving this sort of equipment,” he said. “I did hear the friction of the tyres as the truck was pulling itself down the hill.

“The next thing I heard was all the trees and I ran out. You could see the tyre marks. Without that tree being there it would have gone straight through the house.”

The Works and Engineering trash truck being pulled free after slipping down the hillside in Pembroke (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
W&E Garbage truck rolls off embankment on Eve's Hill in Pembroke, nearly falling through Judy Araujo's roof. (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)