In a tragic accident that occurred on Tuesday afternoon (July 28th, 2020), a 10-year-old boy died in a bicycle accident involving an Amazon delivery van. On Wednesday, Amazon spokesperson, Lisa Levandowski, confirmed the accident, conveying the company’s “thoughts and deepest sympathies” to the boy’s family and loved ones following the catastrophic accident. This is not the first time that the company has been involved in a serious road safety issue involving amazon delivery trucks.
Succumbing to His Injuries
The crash occurred in Lafayette, California, shortly before 1 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. The 10-year-old boy reportedly crashed into the back of one of Amazon’s delivery vans while both the van and the bicycle were traveling downhill in the 500 block of Merriewood Drive.
Authorities took the boy to a nearby hospital, where he later died of his injuries.
Responsibility – The Driver and Amazon
According to sheriff’s spokesman, Jimmy Lee, investigators at the scene of the accident took blood from the Amazon vehicle driver, who was reported to have cooperated. However, the driver of the delivery van was reportedly released without citation, according to Amazon. He was not a full-time employee of the billion-dollar company, but was a paid contractor.
This accident comes in the midst of Amazon facing scrutiny for its contract delivery operations. The company has grown to handle each element of its retail operations – from creating their products to sales and shipping.
It provides Amazon with a legal loophole, of sorts, as Amazon is able to avoid responsibility for contractors which are, technically, employed by another company.
A History Delivery-related Accidents
A new investigation finds that ten people were killed in Amazon-related delivery accidents since 2015, while the retail colossus has been able to avoid and skirt around responsibility for these accidents.
According to Buzzfeed, Amazon’s model of decentralized delivery is creating “chaos and carnage” on America’s streets. The loss of the 10-year-old Lafayette boy adds to the company’s track record, although they are not technically responsible.
Other incidents attributed to Amazon delivery drivers include the story of Gabrielle Kennedy, a nine-month-old baby that was killed when said drive crashed into the back of her mother’s car. According to the driver, he failed to spot the car in time to avoid the crash, as he was running late.
In this case, as opposed to this week’s Lafayette incident, the driver was initially charged with aggravated driving to endanger and jailed –the charge was later dropped. However, the prosecutor’s office was reportedly seeking to charge him with a civil offence – motor vehicle violation resulting in death – which would mean that the driver would be fined and suspended from driving.
According to the driver, who is subcontracted to Amazon, he has not heard from his former company since the incident and feels completely abandoned.
What to Do After an Accident with a Delivery Van?
UPS and FedEx are two delivery companies whose drivers undergo mandatory, rigorous safety training. As a delivery company, this is a necessary step to take in order to comply with safety regulations – with new issues arising as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a delivery truck or van:
- Stop and do not leave the accident scene.
- Use your vehicles emergency flashers to warn others of the accident scene ahead. Make sure that you’re out of danger, if possible.
- Call the police, then provide them with an accurate statement. Remember, it’s normal to have trouble recalling all the details in a situation of this nature.
- Take photographs of the scene, exchange information with the other party.
- Report the accident to your insurance carrier as soon as possible.
- Seek medical attention, even if you don’t immediately feel or see any injuries on your body.
- Create a file of all information related to the accident.
- Protect your right to gain compensation for your injuries from experienced personal injury attorneys.