Fatal crash on Long Island Expressway raises truck parking concerns

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Friday, August 11, 2017

A man was killed after crashing into a parked truck on the side of the Long Island Expressway. The crash occurred in a location known for having few truck parking spaces, raising concerns about what to do with truckers needing to rest in the area.

At about 1:36 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 8, a 27-year-old man, Kevin Hurtes, driving a white 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee, crashed into a parked truck at the westbound Queens Midtown Tunnel Expressway near Mazeau Street, an NYPD spokesperson confirmed to Land Line.

Hurtes was pronounced dead at the scene when emergency crews arrived. The truck driver was not injured.

The New York Trucking Association has been working with the New York City Department of Transportation to address the truck parking shortage. New York State Trucking Association President Kendra Hems told Land Line Now that once drivers enter the five boroughs of New York City, there is really no truck parking available.

“It’s really unfortunate that it takes these kinds of situations to bring this issue to light,” Hems told Land Line Now. “I think everyone in the trucking industry understands that there is a serious shortage of safe and secure truck parking. A lot of folks outside of the industry aren’t necessarily aware of that.”

According to a 2015 parking survey by the Federal Highway Administration, New York ranked in the lower quartile for truck parking spaces per 100 miles of National Highway System roads. Both Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association drivers and American Trucking Association members ranked New York in the lower quartile when rating states with sufficient parking. The survey, which was mandated under “Jason’s Law” included in the 2012 MAP-21 highway bill, made it clear that parking in urban areas is a problem nationwide.

According to Hems, trucks parking alongside the Long Island Expressway are not uncommon, despite laws prohibiting parking on the highway. Law enforcement has essentially turned a blind eye on the situation as trucks have nowhere else to go.

Land Line Now News Reporter Mary McKenna contributed to this story.

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