Government Fleet Top News

City of South Portland Garbage Truck Trashed in Rollover

June 27, 2007

SOUTH PORTLAND, ME – A South Portland city worker faces termination for his alleged role in a rollover accident that demolished one of the city’s two high-tech garbage trucks that cost a total of $360,000, according to the Web site www.keepmecurrent.com. South Portland Public Works Director Dana Anderson said the 2005 trash truck, which has a robotic arm and rear-view camera, was totaled in the Apr. 11 crash, according to the Web site.

Jon Talbot, a substitute driver with a conditional trucker’s license, cracked his vertebrae and was pinned inside the cab for more than an hour after the truck tipped over as he turned a corner off Highland Avenue. No other vehicle was involved.

The city collected $130,000 from its insurer for the vehicle, which cost $183,000 when it was purchased. More than half of the insurance money was used to pay off the debt on the vehicle, and the remainder will go toward a new garbage truck.

Talbot, 33, has been placed on administrative leave since returning to his job as a full-time laborer. He faces a termination hearing before Acting City Manager James Gailey. Complicating the case is Talbot’s personal driving record as an alleged habitual offender that led to the revocation of his driver’s license in 2004, and a disagreement over driver training between the city and the union representing public works employees, according to www.keepmecurrent.com.Excessive speed and poor judgment by Talbot allegedly led to the crash, according to city documents as reported by, www.keepmecurrent.com. A state inspection immediately after the crash found no mechanical problems with the truck. No alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident.

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