A pedestrian died on Thursday, December 3, after being hit by a landscaping truck’s trailer along Okeechobee Boulevard.
Police say the accident occurred west of the intersection of Okeechobee and Spencer Drive, just east of Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard. Anthony Creech, 48, of West Palm Beach, was crossing Okeechobee from north to south, around 6 PM. He had crossed two lanes when the trailer of a landscaping truck hit him and knocked him down. The truck was driven by Robbins Morales Vasquez, 31, also of West Palm Beach. Sadly, Creech was later pronounced dead of his injuries.
Okeechobee Blvd – A Major Thoroughfare Fraught with Pedestrian Accidents
Intersections on Okeechobee Blvd, including this one at the crossing of Palm Beach Lakes, routinely appear on the Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles’ list of most dangerous crossings throughout the state, which is published periodically. That report tallies the number of crashes at an intersection relative to the traffic that passes through.
68 of 467 pedestrian accidents recorded by FDOT since 2015 in Palm Beach County occurred on Okeechobee Blvd, representing about 15% of the overall count, far more than other state road in the county. Second to Okeechobee was Palm Beach Lakes Blvd with 22 (5%), accounting for only a third of the number of pedestrian accidents that occurred on Okeechobee.*
Sadly, Florida also has the highest rate of pedestrian deaths in auto accidents in the country, with an average of 2.73 deaths per 100,000 people or a Pedestrian Death Index (PDI) or 182.0. The national average is 1.55 deaths per 100,000, or a PDI of 55.3. When it comes to passenger vehicles, pickup trucks and SUVs are more likely to lead to pedestrian death in the event of a vehicle/pedestrian crash.
Accidents Involving Landscaping Company Vehicles
Unfortunately, accidents involving commercial vehicles are not uncommon either. For the year 2017, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports there were around 32,000 accidents involving large trucks, resulting in 27 deaths and 1,053 injuries. There are many reasons these crashes can happen.
However, when a vehicle is hauling a trailer, there is a potential for danger if the trailer isn’t secured properly.
Police are still investigating the crash that led to Creech’s death.
*Data compiled by FDOT, analyzed by Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb. See map of pedestrian accidents in Palm Beach County.